Juvenile in South Elgin middle school attack off home monitoring
A juvenile accused of severely injuring a seventh-grader at Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin Feb. 3 has been removed from electronic home monitoring, and prosecutors have until May 23 to present his family with an offer to possibly plead out the case.
Meanwhile, Elgin Area School District U-46 officials are fighting a move by the injured boy's family to get records and other information about the attack, saying it's a "fishing expedition" to get a head-start on a lawsuit against the school district.
Henry Sembdner, 12, was put in a medically-induced coma at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge with head and facial fractures before returning home Feb. 7.
His recovery became a national story after players such as Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo tweeted messages of support to #HenryStrong and community members sent cards.
The juvenile, 14, has been charged with felony aggravated battery. If convicted or he pleads guilty, he could be sentenced to up to five years in a juvenile facility. Probation remains an option.
Kane County Judge Clint Hull Tuesday OK'd a request from the juvenile's attorney to be removed from electronic monitoring. The teen had not had any violation while on home monitoring. A letter about his school behavior was submitted to Hull but not read aloud in court.
Hull gave prosecutors until May 23 to send to the teen and his parents conditions of possible plea deal. Hull said the teen and his parents should "discuss as a family" the plea offer before returning to court June 13.
Sembdner's family has filed litigation for U-46 officials to turn over reports, documents, psychological reports of the defendant and other information regarding the Feb. 3 episode, which supposedly occurred in an area of the school where there are no security cameras, according to court records.
U-46 attorneys say the litigation is for the sole purpose of identifying people or entities who may have caused Sembdner's injuries.
"The plaintiffs in the case have another purpose: to get a head start on discovery for a future lawsuit against the district, and to conduct a 'fishing expedition' to gather facts and evidence to support any such future claim," read part of a court filing by U-46 attorney Patrick DePoy. "In other words, plaintiffs seek to establish liability, not identity."
This case is due in court May 26.