Bar brawler fires back

Published7/7/2008 12:16 AM

The defense for a former police officer sent to prison over an off-duty bar brawl has fired back at McHenry County authorities asking a court to find the ex-cop in contempt of court over unpaid restitution.

In court documents filed last month, the attorney for Brian Quilici calls the allegations inaccurate and asks a judge to order the McHenry County state's attorney's office to pay his legal fees for filing "frivolous" accusations.


"The (claim) is erroneous," defense lawyer Vincent Solano said.

The dispute dates back to May when county prosecutors filed a petition to demand that Quilici, 36, appear in court and explain why he had not paid $26,000 in restitution ordered as part of his sentence last year.

The restitution was intended to pay the medical bills for Ryan Hallett, a Wisconsin man badly beaten during a 2005 altercation with Quilici and two other ex-cops outside a Fox Lake bar.

Witnesses said Quilici, a former police officer in Richmond and Spring Grove, repeatedly kicked Hallett in the face after he had been handcuffed and rendered defenseless. He was convicted of multiple felony charges, including aggravated battery, officials misconduct and mob action, and later sentenced to two years in prison and restitution.

In a formal response to authorities' push to have Quilici held in contempt, Solano said his client turned over more than $10,000 of his bond money toward restitution already. And since two other former cops were convicted and ordered to pay restitution, he argued, Quilici has more than paid his share of Hallett's medical bills.

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Complicating that argument, however, is that the conviction of those other two defendants -- Jerome Volstad and Ronald Pilati -- has been overturned and the pair now are awaiting retrial.

Regardless, because Quilici's conviction now is on appeal, Judge Sharon Prather decided last week to hold off on a hearing to settle the issue until Oct. 22, by which time the appellate court should have ruled on the case.

"Angel of Death" hearing: Another McHenry County judge will hear arguments early next month on claims authorities improperly charged a former Woodstock nursing home supervisor linked to a probe of suspected of mercy killings.

The defense for Penny Whitlock claims prosecutors incorrectly applied a state statute in three of the five counts of criminal neglect of a long-term care facility resident she now faces.


The charges, all felonies, claim Whitlock, 58, of Woodstock, failed to inform state authorities about possible mistreatment to a patient at the Woodstock Residence. In doing so, the charges allege, Whitlock endangered the lives of three other patients.

In court papers asking a judge to dismiss those three charges, Whitlock's defense argues that state law does not allow authorities to charge someone with neglecting one person by failing to take action involving another.

Judge Joseph Condon is expected to hear oral arguments from both sides Aug. 5.

The charges stem from a highly publicized 15-month investigation into a string of suspected mercy killings in 2006 at the Woodstock Residence, a 115-bed facility since renamed the Crossroads Care Center of Woodstock.

Authorities claim former Woodstock Residence nurse Marty Himebaugh of Lake in the Hills gave four patients dangerous doses of morphine or other drugs either without a prescription or at levels larger than prescribed.

Although Himebaugh, 57, is not accused of killing the patients, all four died in 2006. Authorities have declined to comment on their cause of death.

According to the charges, Whitlock was aware of Himebaugh's actions and encouraged her to act as an "Angel of Death."

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