New judge denied in case of St. Charles man disarmed by board president
A Kane County judge has rejected a move by defense attorneys to have a new judge preside over the attempted murder trial of a St. Charles man who was disarmed by a resident in May 2016.
Scott J. Turyna's attorneys argued that the tone, tenor and courtroom demeanor by Judge D.J. Tegeler reflected a personal bias against them that would ultimately translate into prejudice against their client.
Judge John Barsanti disagreed Thursday, ordering the case be returned to Tegeler's courtroom.
"There's no evidence of any hostility," Barsanti said. "I find no indication Judge Tegeler was in any way prejudiced against the defendant."
Defendants are granted one substitution of a judge; this move typically comes at the outset of a case and before any substantial rulings.
Attorneys Alison and Robert Motta cited Tegeler's angry reaction to a request to have their client's fitness to stand trial evaluated as the trial was set to begin. Tegeler bristled when the Mottas acknowledged they knew of Turyna's alleged memory loss as early as June 2016.
The Mottas also argued that Tegeler's admonishment to Alison Motta muttering something under her breath at a court hearing also showed Tegeler's bias against them.
Barsanti noted that although Tegeler had been frustrated with the attorneys, he granted several continuances for the jury trial and also ordered a fitness exam for Turyna.
"It's clear to me (Tegeler's) anger and frustration was not directed at the defendant," Barsanti said. "Everything the defendant asked for, he received."
According to authorities, then St. Charles District 303 school board President Steve Spurling and his wife were walking their dog in early May 2016 when they saw Turyna's bloodied wife emerge from her garage and fall on the driveway. Spurling's wife went to comfort the woman and they began to walk away.
Turyna, 66, came out of the house and began firing a gun. Steve Spurling disarmed Turyna and detained him until police arrived. No one was shot, according to authorities.
Turyna is free on bail and is next due in court Nov. 17 for a fitness hearing.
If convicted of the most severe charges, he faces up to 50 years in prison.