No court cameras in Aurora teen's reckless homicide case
The second request to allow media cameras into a DuPage County courtroom was swiftly denied Wednesday by a judge who raised concerns about the age of the 16-year-old defendant.
Logan Krogman is charged as an adult in an Oct. 23 fatal crash, but Judge Daniel Guerin said the law generally affords "certain protections" to minors in adult court. That includes mandatory legal counsel and total segregation from adults when housed in the county lockup.
"A minor in adult court is treated somewhat differently," Guerin said, adding that barring cameras would help "ensure fair and impartial justice."
Guerin's ruling comes a week after cameras were allowed in a Chicago-area courtroom for the first time. Photographers were authorized to record Elzbieta Plackowska in a DuPage County courtroom as she pleaded not guilty to the stabbing deaths of two Naperville children. In that case, neither the defense nor prosecution objected.
ABC 7 Chicago had requested permission to record Krogman's Dec. 3 arraignment on reckless homicide charges. Krogman's defense attorney and prosecutors objected, citing concerns primarily about the teen's age.
"In another circumstance, there wouldn't be in-court media at all because he's a juvenile," Krogman attorney Gary Johnson said, referring to restrictions that bar the media from juvenile court proceedings.
Assistant State's Attorney Cathy DeLaMar said the family of Krogman's victim also did not want to see cameras in court.
"They've indicated they do not wish the case to be covered in the media," she told Guerin.
The Illinois Supreme Court has allowed cameras into some county trial courts on a restricted basis since January. The pilot program leaves broad discretion with local judges to decide when such coverage is appropriate.
Guerin's ruling cannot be appealed, but the media still has the option of making additional requests for future court events in the Krogman case.
"Each judge has to look at each request individually," said Court Administrator John Lapinski of the 18th Judicial Circuit in DuPage.
He said the only remaining camera request was for next month's arraignment of Darien resident Joseph Spitalli, who stands accused of slashing a man's throat on Nov. 16. That case also is pending before Guerin.
Krogman, of Aurora, is accused of killing his friend and Metea Valley High School sophomore Devin Meadows, 15, also of Aurora, during an early morning joy ride.
Krogman took his father's car without permission and crashed into a garage on the 2700 block of Hamman Way in Aurora, prosecutors said. Three other 15-year-olds, including Meadows, were in the vehicle at the time. Police have said they do not believe drugs or alcohol were involved.
Krogman, who was 15 at the time of the crash, remains free on bond.