Olaska likely to be sentenced May 20 for Naperville bar murder
Shaun Wild's family members have struggled for weeks to write their victim impact statements ahead of Daniel Olaska's likely May 20 sentencing hearing for slaying the second-grade teacher.
Now they're ready to share their thoughts with the court and to make clear the depth of their pain in losing Shaun to a senseless act of violence.
DuPage County Chief Judge Kathryn Creswell will rule next month whether to grant Olaska's motion for a new trial in the murder case. If she rejects the request, Olaska will be sentenced to up to life in prison.
Olaska, 30, of Naperville, was found guilty on March 11 of felony first-degree murder for the stabbing death of Wild, a popular Naperville elementary school teacher, in the early morning hours of Feb. 4, 2012, in a Naperville bar.
Olaska was acquitted on charges of attempted first-degree murder in the stabbings of Willie Hayes and Rafael Castenada.
"The process of writing these victim impact statements has been devastating to all of us, but we're looking forward to our day in court to share the impact of our loss," Wild's mother, Jamie Wild said Thursday afternoon, her voice shaking. "When I read (her daughter) Shannon's statement today, I lost all composure."
Jamie Wild said she was frustrated during the weeklong trial that her family was not able to effectively comment on the loss of their son.
"People who don't know Shaun don't know the impact of our loss," she said. "If you didn't know him, you wouldn't understand the depth of the pain and the ripple effect of the loss."
Prosecutors described Olaska as a "ticking time bomb" filled with rage after being rejected by a woman at Frankies Blue Room on Feb. 4, 2012. They said he directed his rage at several people in his path until he ultimately exploded on Hayes, Wild and eventually Castenada.
Prosecutors say Olaska stabbed Hayes in the chest with the 3½-inch blade of a folding knife at 12:46 a.m. during a brief but heated altercation in a booth at the bar.
Wild -- a 2011 North Central College graduate -- was stabbed just below his elbow and through his heart when he tried to grab Olaska after Olaska first stabbed Hayes.
Olaska then stabbed and injured bouncer Rafael Castenada as bar staff members attempted to hold him for police, prosecutors said.