Jared Chase was charged with an additional felony of aggravated battery on a police officer while imprisoned pretrial at Cook County Jail. Today he appeared before Judge Thaddeus Wilson for a status update hearing regarding that case.
Jay’s defense attorneys, Durkin & Herman, filed a motion to compel Judge Wilson to reconsider the 8 year sentence he gave him for the felony possession of an incendiary device with the intent to commit arson. State Attorney Biesty asked the judge to stand by his sentence. The motion argued that the sentence is longer then the maximum sentence for actual attempted arson, and should be reduced. Judge Wilson stated that the motion argued that possession of an incendiary device is like attempted arson, but the judge claimed they are not similar, and that the legislature decided it was conduct that should be punished separately. He stated the motion argued that the state’s attorney continuously asserted that Church was the leader, but Judge Wilson claimed that only applied to the other charges that defendants were acquitted on, and that Jay was more actively involved in constructing the molotovs. Judge Wilson stated that given all of this, and in reviewing conduct for sentencing, a slightly higher sentence was warranted. He went on to acknowledge that he did appreciate legal arguments and information from the defense council for all 3 defendants, which ultimately led to lighter sentences then they may have been. And after considering each individual’s conduct and history, he felt the sentence was appropriate, so the motion was denied.
Durkin then asked that a public defender be appointed to Jay’s appeal case on the conviction for possession of an incendiary device, which will aid in getting the necessary transcripts without cost. Judge Wilson complied. Jay’s projected parole date at this time is May 6, 2016, unless additional time is added to his sentence for the assault charge. At sentencing a 402 conference in which a plea offer was submitted to Jay for consideration was undertaken, and the plea offer was rejected. Durkin told the judge that after a conversation with Jay’s physician treating him for Huntington’s disease, that he had talked with Biesty about new information, and Biesty said he would take this information to his superiors in the State’s Attorney’s office for consideration about how to possibly resolve this, likely via another plea deal, without going to trial.
Durkin then addressed that Jay is currently being held at Stateville Northern Receiving Center in Joliet, but because his next court date is more then 30 days away, he will be moved to a state prison shortly to serve out the remainder of his sentence, and there is deep concern about the potential facility being too far away from Chicago for Jay to be treated by his specialist at UIC, especially if it is in Southern Illinois. The IDOC has been informed of Jay’s condition, and need for access to care in Northern Illinois.
Another status hearing was set for June 30th, at which time defense attorneys will answer pretrial motions. Judge Wilson expressed his will to expedite this process and set trial for no later then late August or September.