Barrington Hills wants to recover costs from murder investigation
Barrington Hills officials may seek reimbursement from a property owner, an online home rental service and others for police costs related to a fatal shooting last month during a house party they say violated village code.
Police spokesman William Walsh said no new information has surfaced regarding the killing of Sean B. Patton, 28, of Chicago, during the March 7 party on the 300 block of Old Sutton Road.
Walsh said three other men suffered gunshot wounds, but their injuries were not life-threatening.
Officials said the home was advertised for rent on multiple online marketplaces before the shooting.
Barrington Hills zoning regulations don't allow for the use of a residential property for commercial purposes, such as short-term rentals for lodging and special events. That's why the reimbursement of the police expenses should be sought, said Trustee Brian Cecola, who chairs the village board's public safety committee.
"In a recent meeting with the village president and administrator, and in conjunction with the treasurer and the police chief, I am advocating to move forward with presenting the costs associated with this investigation for immediate reimbursement from the property owner, the (online) rental company agencies and the responsible party who rented this property," said Cecola, who raised the issue during a recent village board session.
Village Attorney Mary Dickson said the potential for recouping the unspecified police costs will be studied. The village had contact with the property owner before the short-term rental occurred and "they were fully aware of their use of the property in that manner being in violation" of village ordinance.
"We will follow up on this with the owners," Dickson said.
Police called to the house at 3:22 a.m. March 7 for a report of shots fired arrived to find Patton dead from gunshot wounds. A preliminary investigation revealed a large party was held at the house by people who live outside the village, police said.
Walsh said police have investigated at least 70 leads in the case. Barrington Hills has received assistance from the Cook County Major Case Assistance Team.
At the last Barrington Hills village board meeting, Cecola said the Old Sutton Road home was for sale and listed at $880,000 in late March. According to a current Zillow real estate listing, the price for the four-bedroom, five-bathroom house with a heated indoor pool was reduced to $848,000 on April 2.
"If someone were to sell it, I want to make sure we have some legal recourse with the owners, whether that's a lien or some (other) legal recourse, that the village ought to get some of these costs back. I'm a firm believer on that. And I will stand by that until I'm out of office," said Cecola, who could not be reached for additional comment Wednesday.
Officials have not publicly identified the home's owners. The Cook County treasurer's office lists a mailing address for the latest property tax bill at a Clarendon Hills business on Ogden Avenue.