Cashless bail for man charged in 1972 murder of Naperville teen? Attorney seeks man's release

An attorney representing a Minnesota man charged with the 1972 murder of a Naperville teen is hoping the state's new cashless bail rules will set his client free until his case goes to a hearing.

Defense attorney Terry Ekl recently filed a motion to vacate bail for his client, Barry Lee Whelpley.

The issue is set to be argued before Will County Judge David Carlson on Sept. 26.

Cashless bail will take effect Sept. 18 in Illinois. Instead of setting bail, judges will decide if defendants can be held in custody until trial.

Whelpley is charged with aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder in the death of Julie Ann Hanson.

The 15-year-old Naperville girl disappeared on July 7, 1972, while riding her bicycle to her brother's baseball game.

Her body was discovered a day later in a field near 87th Street and Modaff Road. The coroner said she had been stabbed 36 times.

Whelpley was arrested in 2021 after DNA evidence linked him to the case.

At the time, his bail was set at $10 million. He remains in custody at the Will County Adult Detention Center.

Under the new provision, judges can consider if the defendant poses a threat to a specific individual or the community at large when deciding if someone can be held in custody.

"He's 78 years old," Ekl said. "There's no evidence that he poses a danger to the community.

"Based on the facts of this case, prosecutors can't prove that."

A spokeswoman for the Will County state's attorney declined to comment.

Prosecutors will file a written response to Ekl's motion later this month.

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