2 years in prison for man who threatened Elgin cop involved in 2018 fatal shooting

  • James M. Luecke

    James M. Luecke

Updated 9/4/2019 11:56 PM

A homeless man was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to threatening the Elgin police officer who fatally shot Decynthia Clements in March 2018.

James M. Luecke, 54, was accused of repeatedly threatening Lt. Christian Jensen, in the October 2018 incident in which Luecke also was charged with throwing a crosswalk sign into the police department's front window.


Elgin police said Luecke was arrested in the early morning hours of Oct. 29, 2018, after police said he threw the crosswalk sign at the station, damaged a city-owned mailbox used to hold visitor maps of downtown Elgin, and repeatedly said he wanted to kill Jensen.

Luecke said into the police station intercom that Jensen killed an "innocent woman" and that he knew where Jensen lived, according to police.

After two officers arrested Luecke and brought him into the station, he repeatedly said: "You guys killed my friend Cynthia. I'm gonna stay alive just to kill you (expletive)."

Clements, 34, was shot and killed March 12, 2018, after an hourlong standoff with police along Interstate 90. Body camera video shows officers asked Clements several times to exit her vehicle. They approached the vehicle after she started a fire inside. Clements exited holding a steak knife, took one step and was shot three times by Jensen.

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Jenson had been placed on administrative leave since the shooting, and city leaders reinstated him to the police force Wednesday.

In May 2012, Luecke, then of Carpentersville, was arrested and charged with threatening to kill a Carpentersville police officer and a felony hate crime for repeatedly calling his neighbor a racial slur. He eventually pleaded guilty to criminal damage to property and was sentenced to 22 months in prison,

Kane County Judge Charles Petersen accepted the guilty plea Wednesday in which prosecutors dismissed other, less severe charges of criminal property damage.

Threatening a public official is a felony that carries a sentence of two to five years in prison but also is eligible for probation.

Under state law, Luecke can have his prison sentence cut half for good behavior. He also gets credit for 311 days held at the Kane County jail on $150,000 bail, so Luecke could be released from prison in a matter of months.

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