Gilberts murder trial delayed until next year

 
 
Updated 3/8/2011 4:22 PM

A Kane County judge has agreed to delay the murder trial of a Gilberts man charged with killing his girlfriend and setting her townhouse on fire more than three years ago.

Frank Hill, 33, had been scheduled to stand trial by jury Sept. 29 on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated arson in the Jan. 9, 2007, death of 27-year-old Karyn Pearson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

On Friday, Circuit Judge Timothy Sheldon agreed to postpone the trial until Jan. 24, 2011, which comes about two weeks after the four-year anniversary of Pearson's death.

The delay was granted at the request of Public Defender David Kliment, who asked that the trial be put off until at least Nov. 29 because of scheduling conflicts within his office.

Assistant State's Attorney Greg Sams said the prosecution was prepared to proceed in September, and he hoped this delay would be the last.

"I don't want the victim's family to be preparing for this only to find out the week before that the trial isn't going to happen," he said.

Sams has said the state would seek the death penalty if Hill is found guilty of murdering Pearson, whose body was so badly burned she had to be identified through dental records.

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Otherwise, Hill would face 20 to 60 years in prison, with the possibility of an extended term due to aggravating factors.

Battery conviction: An Aurora man with a history of domestic violence has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for severely beating his girlfriend in 2007.

Frederick Hampton, 42, was convicted by a Kane County jury in November of one count of aggravated domestic battery, a Class 2 felony, and two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery. He was sentenced Aug. 23 by Associate Judge Patricia P. Golden.

Prosecutors said Hampton pushed his girlfriend against a wall, causing her to fall to the floor, and then kicked her in the sides and head.

The Feb. 22, 2007, attack left the victim with a lacerated liver, a black eye, and bruises all over her face and body.

State law mandated an enhanced sentence for Hampton because of his prior criminal history, which includes convictions for aggravated battery, domestic battery and drug charges dating back to the 1980s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In an unrelated case with a different victim, he also is charged with aggravated domestic battery, misdemeanor domestic battery and interfering with a domestic battery report, according to the state's attorney's office. His next date in court on that matter is Tuesday.

DUI detail: Campton Hills police will be out looking for DUI drivers during a special Labor Day crackdown.

Police Chief Dan Hoffman said the Sept. 6 campaign will center on the deadliest hours for driving Illinois roads, which is midnight to 3 a.m., according the Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"If you drive impaired or unbuckled, we will find you and arrest you or give you a ticket," he warned.

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