Gliniewicz case back in Lake County court

Updated 5/15/2018 3:23 PM
  • Melodie Gliniewicz, 53, of Antioch Township

    Melodie Gliniewicz, 53, of Antioch Township

The widow of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz returned to Lake County court Tuesday to set a hearing date for the judge to reconsider a previous ruling in the case.

At issue is a May 2017 decision by Judge James Booras when he ruled prosecutors could not introduce text messages and emails between Melodie Gliniewicz and her now-deceased husband at her trial for unlawful use of charitable funds and other charges. The state's marital privilege laws protect communications between a wife and her husband.

Prosecutors appealed the decision to the state appellate court, arguing those laws don't apply when one spouse isn't being called to testify against the other.

Lawyers for Melodie Gliniewicz, 53, said the Second District Appellate Court temporarily returned the case to Lake County for Booras to determine if he needs to make a new decision on that issue.

Attorney Donald Morrison said the issue surfaced when prosecutors tried to add evidence at the appellate level. Morrison said it "is not new evidence, and is irrelevant to the issue of marital privilege."

A hearing is set for May 31.

Melodie Gliniewicz, of Antioch Township, has pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful use of charitable funds, conspiracy and money laundering. Authorities allege she helped her husband misuse thousands of dollars from the Fox Lake police Explorer youth program.

If found guilty at trial, she could be sentenced up to seven years in prison.

The charges surfaced after Joe Gliniewicz was found shot to death in a secluded area of Fox Lake on Sept. 1, 2015. Investigators initially believed the veteran officer was killed in the line of duty, but later determined he killed himself and made it appear as if he'd been gunned down.

Investigators claimed he was trying to cover up an embezzlement of funds from the Explorer post. Authorities said the couple used Explorer post money to pay for a trip to Hawaii, movie tickets, pornography websites and more than 400 restaurant charges.

The case has been delayed while the appellate court ruled on the previous Booras decision.

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