Police and Courts | WGLT

Police and Courts

A 22-year-old man from Heyworth has drowned as part of a dirt bike crash. McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis said Andrew Johnson sustained a blunt force head injury during a dirt bike crash in a wooded area north of 510 North Buchanan in Heyworth late Saturday afternoon. Davis said the crash likely rendered him unconscious when he entered the water. The case remains under investigation by the coroner's office and the McLean County Sheriff's Department.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

After a decade of lawsuits, Unit Five has settled the final case involving a victim of convicted child molester Jon Andrew White. White was a Unit Five teacher, who later got a job in Urbana schools and continued molesting students.

Bloomington Police Department

It has been three years since someone killed 26-year old Haileigh Eichorn of Bloomington. And police spokeswoman Sara Mayer says detectives are not dropping the investigation.

flickr.com/appleswitch (Creative Commons)

Bloomington Police say a man robbed the Dollar General store in the 900 block of East Oakland Avenue at gunpoint.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington police have released two videos of a man applying tar to a downtown bench (scroll down to see videos). The man is unidentifiable in both videos.

The department is ended its investigation on May 12 into an incident last month in which tar was spread over a public bench in an apparent effort to deter a homeless man from using the bench.

The man's only set of clothes was ruined.

Police say they have insufficient evidence to make an arrest.

Police in Normal are asking for public input into a gunfire incident Sunday morning.

Assistant Chief Eric Klingele says the call came in about 5:36 a.m. in the 500 block of Normal Avenue, in the University Court area. Several shots were fired.

A Dodge Charger parked on the street was struck. No injuries were reported. Klingele says officers are interviewing witnesses at the party that turned into a fight among five or six college age people at a rented house. 

Hastert Sentenced To Prison

Apr 27, 2016
Tannen Maury / EPA

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison for breaking federal banking rules in a scheme to cover up sexual abuse.

Jim Larrison

Studies show prisoners who stay connected with their families have lower recidivism. 

Yet, the cost of keeping in touch is proving quite high for many.  Prison phone call rates are unregulated.  In Illinois, that's resulted in some hefty bills.  Danielle Chynoweth of Urbana is with the Center for Media Justice, which has worked on this issue nationally.  

"One third of families of the incarcerated went into debt to pay for phone calls and visits alone.  These are people taking out loans to pay their phone calls," Chynoweth said.

Lawyers say Imprisoned Peoria Man Innocent of Murder

Apr 22, 2016
Cass Herrington / IPR

Attorneys in Peoria filed a joint petition Thursday in hopes of reopening a more than 45-year-old murder case involving the killing of a police officer.

Scott Proctor / Flickr via Creative Commons

Formal steps by a state's attorney in Illinois to permanently dismiss the case against a man he believes was wrongly convicted in a 1957 killing have not deterred the victim's brother from seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor.

A McLean County Jury has convicted a man of beating his mother into critical condition for dancing with a man of a different ethnic race. The McLean County State's Attorney's Office says Roger Kinnerson's Aggravated Domestic Battery Conviction will involve class X sentencing because of his prior record.

Colleen Reynolds

Most people get their information about police work from TV but some area residents learned first-hand that even reality shows like “Cops” don’t do justice to real life experiences of officers on patrol every day. That's just some of what was on display the second annual Law Enforcement Educational Summit at Illinois State University Tuesday night.

Bloomington's Administrative Court Could See Changes

Apr 18, 2016
City of Bloomington

Some new things could be added to Bloomington’s Administrative Court that are expected to improve the process. The court was established last year to make it easier for the city to enforce property and behavioral code violations. Deputy Corporation Counsel Angela Fyans-Jimenez said the court has been “very successful” since its creation last April.

Champaign Fires Police Officer

Apr 14, 2016
Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb has fired an officer who was the subject of a series of lawsuits alleging excessive force.


Former McLean County Judge Charles "Chuck" Witte has died at the age of 74 after a lengthy battle battle with cancer. 

Witte, who retired in 2001, was deeply involved in the community, serving BroMenn Healthcare, Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State Universities, the Kiwanis, and many other institutions.

Police Give Citizens Look Inside Profession

Apr 11, 2016
Keith Allison / Flickr via Creative Commons

People will be able to get some idea what it's like to be a police officer at an event Saturday April 19th. The second Law Enforcement Education Summit is at Illinois State University's Horton Field House. Bloomington Police Chief Brenden Heffner says the event was so popular in it's inaugural year at the Armory, they are moving it to a bigger space. Chief Heffner says visitors had their favorites among the displays and demonstrations.


The Bloomington Police Department says it can't prove who drove over grave markers and damaged them in connection with a Donald Trump rally. The department says it has declined to file charges in the case.

Wikimedia Commons

Police in Normal say an 18 year old man brought a loaded handgun to YouthBuild.

Bloomington Police Dept.

The Bloomington Police Department is launching a private security camera registry as a tool in helping hinder crime and increase public safety.

Citizens and business owners will be able to register their privates cameras, making it easier for the police department to find, and perhaps use, the video footage to help solve crimes.

Officer Sara Mayer of the Bloomington Police Department says no one is being forced to register.  

A judge overseeing Dennis Hastert's hush-money case has appointed a Northwestern University doctor to review the former U.S. House speaker's medical records. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin said in a filing that Dr. Robert S. Golden would conduct the review, which was ordered last month after Hastert's sentencing was delayed because his lawyers said he had nearly died and remained in poor health.

Judge; McCullough To Stay In Jail

Apr 1, 2016
Chris Potter / Wikimedia Commons

Two Chicago attorneys appeared Friday morning at a hearing to ask a DeKalb County Judge to release Jack McCullough from prison immediately.

High Court Rejects Blagojevich Appeal

Mar 28, 2016
Creative Commons

A lawyer for Rod Blagojevich is disappointed the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the imprisoned former Illinois governor's appeal of his remaining corruption convictions, including his attempt to sell the vacant U.S. Senate seat once occupied by President Barack Obama.

Chris Potter / Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois Courts Commission recently punished two McLean County Circuit Judges for conduct related to an affair they had. Judge Scott Drazewski has been suspended for four months for not removing himself from cases in which the husband of Judge Rebecca Foley was representing clients. Drazewski also lied about his reason for eventually asking to be removed from other cases. Foley was censured for not reporting Drazewski's failure to recuse himself.

Officer Suicide Sparks Lawsuit

Mar 22, 2016
ProfessorDoom1 / Facebook via Creative Commons

An Illinois village faces a lawsuit from two men who say they were targeted during an investigation into the death of a police officer who authorities later determined staged his suicide to appear he was gunned down in the line of duty.

Police Crowdfunding For Body Cams

Mar 21, 2016
Denver Police Department / YouTube via Creative Commons

At least 10 law enforcement agencies in Illinois, including South Pekin, have turned to the Internet to raise enough money to purchase body cameras for officers.

Nia Gilbert

A sizeable percentage of students at University High School in Normal recently dressed all in black for a day to mark the Black Lives Matter movement. There was some contention as other students dressed all in white as part of an All Lives Matter response. GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with two organizers of the Black Lives Matter effort, Juniors Seba Nassar and Nia Gilbert about why they thought it was a necessary thing to do at U-High.

Normal Fire Department

Firefighters in Normal are investigating flames that destroyed three Unit Five School buses parked in the transportation center on Eagle road.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

One McLean County judge has been suspended without pay for judicial misconduct stemming from his actions in the wake of an extra-marital affair with another judge, who is being censured.

Judge Scott Drazewski will begin his four-month suspension May 1st. Following a Judicial Inquiry Board review, the suspension was handed down against Drazewski and Judge Rebecca Foley was censured. The two began an extra-marital affair in late 2010.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington police shot a bull as it trotted along Main Street. The bull escaped from a processing facility on Bunn Street and went on the move, through the parking lot of an apartment complex on Tracy Drive. There were children waiting for a school bus and other pedestrians there. When officers approached, the bull it damaged a vehicle and charged an officer. Police say no one was injured, and the meat processor picked up  the carcass.

Pot Smokers May Just Get Tickets

Mar 9, 2016
ashton / Flickr via Creative Commons

Illinois lawmakers are considering a proposal that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Instead, people caught with 10 grams or less of cannabis would pay a maximum fine of 200 dollars.