Showdown looms in Burlington Township murder case

 
 
Updated 1/6/2017 1:41 PM
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  • Daniel Rak is charged with murdering his father in Burlington Township.

    Daniel Rak is charged with murdering his father in Burlington Township.

A special prosecutor has been appointed to defend the Kane County state's attorney's office against allegations prosecutors improperly accessed confidential emails sent by defense attorneys in the case of a Burlington Township man accused of killing his father.

Public Defender Kelli Childress wants first-degree murder and aggravated domestic battery charges against Daniel Rak, 31, dismissed.

Childress argues prosecutors committed misconduct and violated attorney-client privilege when they were given internal emails of Rak's defense team.

In court papers, Childress argues she filed a subpoena as part of pretrial discovery between attorneys, and the county's Information Technology Department searched for all emails related to the Rak case -- which included internal emails from Childress' office -- and turned them over to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said in court filings they realized the emails were from Childress' office and immediately deleted without reading them. Childress argues the breach occurred not only on the Rak case, but in 200 cases in the last several years.

Daniel Purdom, of the Chicago-based Hinshaw Culbertson, a firm State's Attorney Joe McMahon used to work for, was appointed in December as a special state's attorney to argue murder charges should still stand. He will not prosecute the case.

Attorney's will argue the matter before Judge D.J. Tegeler March 3.

Childress, who declined to comment on the special prosecutor's appointment, also wants Rak's statements he made to authorities after his father's death banned from court. Childress argues Rak's statements were not voluntary because was not read his Miranda Rights, was not told he could remain silent, was intoxicated, vomiting and hungry when questioned.

Attorneys will argue this matter Feb. 2.

Authorities have accused Rak of beating his father, Jeffrey, 58, to death at his home in February 2016. At the time of Rak's arrest, prosecutors called Jeffrey Rak's death "the most tragic result of domestic violence."

Rak was being held at the Kane County jail on $950,000 bail. He faces between 20 and 60 years in prison if convicted.

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