Court upholds restraint ruling
A Lake County judge was right on the money when he convicted a former Arlington Heights man of unlawful restraint, the 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin ruled recently.
Ricardo Lissade, 32, was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of storming into the Lake County home of an ex-girlfriend and holding her up against a couch while choking her.
Associate Judge Daniel Shanes found Lissade guilty of domestic battery and unlawful restraint after testimony in a bench trial showed Lissade had held the woman against the couch with his hand around her neck until a third party stepped in and freed the woman.
"That brings us to the unlawful restraint. That's a lot more easily resolved, at least for me, a transcript quotes Shanes saying as he found Lissade guilty.
"I have absolutely no hesitation in finding, based on my review of the evidence, that the defendant is guilty of that offense.
Lissade argued on appeal he could not be convicted of unlawful restraint because he told police he only went to the woman's house to retrieve his children and therefore did not "knowingly act to restrain the woman.
Whatever Lissade's motivation may have been when he entered the house, the appellate court wrote in upholding Shanes' ruling, it ceased to matter once he grabbed her around the neck.
The justices quoted a ruling in an appeal of a 1992 case in which a similar argument was raised in rejecting Lissade's claim.
"Rather than motive, we found that what mattered was whether the defendant acted knowingly when he restrained the victim, the justices wrote. "The fact that defendant may have had another purpose in entering (the victim's) home is simply irrelevant to whether defendant was proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Illinois attorney general's office has agreed to provide nearly $25,000 to support domestic violence counseling in Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller's office.
Waller said recently that his office will receive $24,700 from the attorney general to help pay the salary of a counselor for domestic violence victims.
Waller said the counselor will work on improving case management, assist in updating the Domestic Violence Council's Response Manual and monitor cases with the goal of reducing the dismissal of charges because of lack of victim cooperation.
Heard in the hallway
According to the Lake County jury commission, 8,443 county residents were called for jury duty last year, and 3,293 of them were sworn to serve as jurors in a total of 209 trials.