Despite firing as many as five gunshots toward his wife, a St. Charles man charged with attempted murder wants jurors to know he obviously wasn't trying to kill her.
According to a defense strategy discussed in court this week, the accused, Scott Turyna, is an "expert marksman" who owns at least 40 guns.
So "if he wanted to kill her, he would have killed her," defense attorney Milan Filipovich said.
And to prove it, Filipovich asked Kane County Judge D.J. Tegeler to allow Turyna, 66, to fire a handgun at a shooting range, under the watchful eye of an ex-cop-turned-private-investigator. The experiment, as Filipovich called it, would bolster the claim Turyna is a good shot.
Assistant Kane County State's Attorney Megan Baxter objected, and not just because she thinks handing a gun to someone charged with attempted murder is a bad idea. There's no way, she said, the circumstances of the May 2016 shooting -- the stress, the amount of sleep Turyna had, how much he had been drinking -- could be replicated.
Tegeler said "no" to the experiment, but "yes" to the strategy, if Turyna wants to provide testimony or other proof of his skills.
Turyna faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated domestic battery and two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm. He's accused of beating his wife, threatening to kill her and knocking a phone out of her hand when she tried to call police.
When she tried to escape by running out of their home, authorities said, Turyna followed and shot at her.
St. Charles District 303 board President Steven Spurling, who just happened to be walking by at that time, tackled Turyna, disarmed him and held him until police arrived.
Farewell to the chief
After four decades working to keep the suburbs safe, the last 17 as chief of police in Vernon Hills, Mark Fleischhauer is hanging up his holster.
Fleischhauer officially retires Monday, ending a career that began in 1977 in Barrington and continued in Palatine, where he rose through the ranks to deputy chief. He was hired to lead the Vernon Hills force in April 2000.
Fleischhauer helped make Vernon Hills a center of Lake County law enforcement -- the village is now home to the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, Northwest Illinois Regional Crime Lab, Lake County Major Crime Task Force and the Central Lake County Consolidated Dispatch Center.
He also made building community connections a hallmark of his tenure, with his department's officers taking roles in programs like Special Olympics, Shop With a Cop, the Jim Heier Veterans Fishing Derby, Veteran Honor Flights and more.
"Mark has served as an exceptional leader -- not only for the officers of the Vernon Hills Police Department, but also for the wider community," Village Manager John Kalmar said.
Patrick L. Kreis, who's been chief in Winnetka since 2011, will succeed Fleischhauer.
People were abuzz this week about data-collecting skimmers and peephole cameras found on ATMs in Aurora, Batavia and Yorkville. But just what should you be looking for to see if a machine has been compromised?
Batavia police have posted pictures on the BPD Special Updates Facebook page of skimmers pulled off the machines at a bank there. And an FBI news release shows what a pinhole camera looked like, in a recent case in New York.
Congrats to Lake County Sheriff's Det. Vince Ramirez for receiving the SEDOL Certificate of Recognition for his work as a school resource officer with the Special Education District of Lake County.
"Detective Ramirez's ability to develop supportive and caring relationships with students (and their families) was noted as a contributing factor in bettering the lives of several students served in SEDOL classroom programs every school year," SEDOL Superintendent Thomas Moline said.
Ramirez recently organized an event with SEDOL students and staff that raised more than $1,200 for Special Olympics.
Road-rage appeal rejected
A state appeals court has upheld the four-year prison sentence handed down to a Bartlett man for a 2014 road-rage shooting in Lisle.
The court unanimously rejected Vaughan Atkins' argument that the DuPage County judge who sent him to prison didn't acknowledge his reputation as a good stay-at-home father and community member, nor did he fully consider his litany of health problems.
Justices said the lower court judge did weigh those factors, but found them lacking compared to the dangerous situation he created -- including for the two kids in his car -- when he opened fire on a driver who'd cut him off along Interstate 355.
"Everyone agrees that the evidence showed that defendant is a good father who is devoted to his family," Justice Donald Hudson wrote. "However, the court was also justifiably concerned that defendant's actions in this case greatly endangered his family."
Atkins, 45, is set to be paroled in April 2018.
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