Will County judge seeks answers on defendant not in custody

US

Will County Circuit Court Judge David Carlson is calling for a special prosecutor to look into why a defendant released from custody in error wasn’t taken into custody Dec. 1 after the judge ordered him held.

Leroy Devine, 34, was arraigned Dec. 1 for two cases against him: one for aggravated fleeing; and one for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, armed habitual criminal and possession or use of a firearm by a felon.

Devine was ordered released Oct. 10 on the aggravated fleeing charges, but was still to be held on the other charges, according to Will County Circuit Court records online. Devine’s attorney, Charles Bretz, said he informed the court Oct. 25 that Devine was released “in error,” but that he was in a rehabilitation facility receiving treatment.

Bretz said Devine appeared voluntarily for the arraignment Dec. 1, and pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Carlson ordered Devine to be held in custody after his arraignment, but Devine wasn’t taken into custody then, Bretz said.

Wheen Bretz informed the judge Tuesday that Devine wasn’t in custody, Carlson ordered Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley and Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow to come to his courtroom to explain why, but only representatives of the state’s attorney’s office responded.

Mary Tatroe, Will County civil division chief at the state’s attorney’s office, told the judge there weren’t any motions or petitions before the court that would require the sheriff to appear, and Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Ken Grey told Carlson he doesn’t have jurisdiction over the sheriff’s office.

“When he doesn’t follow the order, I don’t have jurisdiction?” Carlson asked.

Carlson said a special prosecutor will help resolve the situation.

Whenever changes are made to the legal landscape, Carlson said Kelley and Glasgow inform judges “so fast heads spin.”

“You’re saying I don’t have jurisdiction over the sheriff. We’ll soon find out,” Carlson said.

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Devine, 34, of Shorewood, was charged Oct. 6 with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and obstructing a police officer. After arresting him, officers learned he had an Oct. 4 Will County warrant issued by Joliet police for aggravated fleeing and eluding a police officer, according to a Joliet police news release.

Police said officers on patrol at 12:02 a.m. Oct. 6 in the 100 block of Lois Place saw a Toyota Corolla parked in a lot with people inside. As officers approached, Devine ran from the car, tripping on a curb and dropping a gun, according to the release.

Will County sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer said Devine was in custody from Oct. 6 to Oct. 10, when he was released on a pretrial order.

As of Wednesday, Bretz said he wasn’t aware of any motions or orders to bring Devine into custody. According to the Will County sheriff’s office website, Devine isn’t in custody.

Grey and Tatroe declined to comment after Tuesday’s hearing, saying the case is pending.

Carlson set a court date of Dec. 21 regarding the appointment of a special prosecutor.

akukulka@chicagotribune.com

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