The jury

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CHICAGOLAN­D -

Ju­ror No. 1: Fe­male, ap­pears to be His­panic: A stay-at-home mother with three chil­dren younger than 10. Said she saw the protests while walk­ing into the court­house but didn’t pay at­ten­tion to them. “I re­spect po­lice of­fi­cers and think they just do their jobs,” she wrote on her ques­tion­naire. De­fense tried to dis­miss her for cause.

Ju­ror No. 2: Fe­male, white: A woman who works as a record-keeper for an undis­closed com­pany, she said in her an­swers to a ques­tion­naire that she had seen the video of Ja­son Van Dyke shoot­ing Laquan McDonald as well as some of the ex­ten­sive me­dia cov­er­age of the case. Her part­ner works for the De­part­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­ily Ser­vices, an agency that played an im­por­tant role in the life of McDonald, who was a ward of the state at the time of his death. De­fense tried to dis­miss her for cause.

Ju­ror No. 3: Male, ap­pears to be Asian: A fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst who spe­cial­izes in pri­vate eq­uity, the man seemed ner­vous dur­ing jury se­lec­tion and barely spoke above a whis­per. He wrote in his ques­tion­naire that no one is above the law. “Ev­ery­one must abide by the law, in­clud­ing law en­force­ment of­fi­cers,” he wrote.

Ju­ror No. 4: Male, white: He spoke about his church’s ef­forts to ad­dress racial in­jus­tice. Hav­ing de­scribed him­self dur­ing jury se­lec­tion as a gay man, the ju­ror said he was aware of the case but had not seen the video be­cause he does not watch TV. He said he could be a fair ju­ror, even though he had re­cently spo­ken to a black friend about dis­crim­i­na­tion he has faced. “I don’t think it’s a ref­er­en­dum on the state of the coun­try or the state of my friends,” he said.

Ju­ror No. 5: Fe­male, white: The wife of a re­tired Navy man who now works for the De­part­ment of De­fense, the ju­ror said she knew about the case from the news but had not formed an opin­ion. She was not ques­tioned about other per­sonal de­tails.

Ju­ror No. 6: Fe­male, black: A FedEx driver, the ju­ror said she had seen the video of the shoot­ing. She had no opin­ion about whether the of­fi­cer was guilty, but she did have is­sues with the shoot­ing. “I had an opin­ion about how many times the shots went off,” she said. “I can’t lie about that . ... That’s a lot of shots.” De­fense tried to dis­miss her for cause.

Ju­ror No. 7: Male, white: Ju­ror says he has “re­spect for po­lice of­fi­cers” and is a gun rights sup­porter. He has not seen the video and only vaguely knows about the case.

Ju­ror No. 8: Fe­male, His­panic: The daugh­ter of Texas field work­ers, the ju­ror is cur­rently un­em­ployed. She has a 6-yearold daugh­ter and two school-age grand­chil­dren. She saw protests out­side the court­house and agreed with a de­fense at­tor­ney’s sug­ges­tion that the rally was “scary.” De­fense tried to dis­miss her for cause.

Ju­ror No. 9: Fe­male, white: Her fam­ily has close ties to Judge Gaughan’s fam­ily, as his brother stood up in her fa­ther’s wed­ding and his other brother is the god­fa­ther to the woman’s sis­ter. Nei­ther de­fense nor the pros­e­cu­tion con­sid­ered the re­la­tion­ship an is­sue. The ju­ror, who works in sur­gi­cal billing, said she had seen the video and thought “a lot of shots were fired.” She also said she could be fair, ac­knowl­edg­ing: “I know I saw only a very small por­tion of the video.”

Ju­ror No. 10: Fe­male, His­panic: With the dream of be­com­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer since she was 12, ju­ror has ap­plied for the Chicago Po­lice De­part­ment and passed the exam. She said she was un­ware of the case be­fore be­ing tapped for the jury and that she wouldn’t worry that her ver­dict would af­fect her em­ploy­ment chances.

Ju­ror No. 11: Male, white: He said he had seen the video and “thought the of­fi­cer went too far.” De­fense tried to re­move him for cause. He has stud­ied nu­clear en­gi­neer­ing.

Ju­ror No. 12: Fe­male, white: The woman, in her 30s, said in a ques­tion­naire she filled out that “no mat­ter what your oc­cu­pa­tion is if you know­ingly did some­thing wrong, you should face con­se­quences.” She works as a CT scan tech­nol­o­gist.

The de­fense

Ja­son Van Dyke: A 13-year vet­eran of the Chicago Po­lice De­part­ment, Van Dyke is charged with first-de­gree mur­der, ag­gra­vated bat­tery and of­fi­cial misconduct for shoot­ing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times as he walked down the street hold­ing a knife. Raised in the west sub­urbs, Van Dyke is mar­ried and has two school-age daugh­ters. Van Dyke worked at night in mostly high-crime dis­tricts, in­clud­ing En­gle­wood and Chicago Lawn. He was picked to take part in a tar­geted re­sponse unit that ag­gres­sively went into neigh­bor­hoods hit by spikes in vi­o­lent crimes be­fore po­lice brass aban­doned that strat­egy. If con­victed of mur­der, he faces up to life in prison. Daniel Her­bert: Van Dyke’s lead de­fense at­tor­ney served as a Chicago po­lice of­fi­cer and Cook County pros­e­cu­tor be­fore go­ing into pri­vate prac­tice. He has carved out a niche as a go-to lawyer for po­lice of­fi­cers ac­cused of wrong­do­ing. Though he has han­dled sev­eral high-pro­file po­lice misconduct cases in re­cent years, Van Dyke’s trial marks his first de­fense of mur­der charges.

Tammy Wendt: A for­mer Cook County state’s at­tor­ney, Wendt most re­cently has spe­cial­ized in real es­tate law and es­tate plan­ning. She pros­e­cuted hun­dreds of crim­i­nal cases while with the state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice. She tra­di­tion­ally sits next to Van Dyke at the de­fense ta­ble and is the at­tor­ney he most fre­quently talks with in the court­room.

Randy Rueck­ert: A for­mer as­sis­tant Cook County state’s at­tor­ney, he han­dled sev­eral high-pro­file gang pros­e­cu­tions. In pri­vate prac­tice, he is known for de­fend­ing po­lice of­fi­cers in cor­rup­tion cases, most no­tably gang crimes Of­fi­cer Joseph Miedzianow­ski.

El­iz­a­beth Flem­ing: An as­so­ciate at­tor­ney at Daniel Her­bert’s law firm for the past three years, Flem­ing has prac­ticed at the state, fed­eral and ap­pel­late lev­els. She re­ceived her law de­gree from the John Marshall Law School in 2015 and her un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree from the Univer­sity of Illi­nois at Ur­bana-Cham­paign.

The pros­e­cu­tion

Joseph McMa­hon: Ap­pointed by Judge Gaughan to serve as spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor in the case after the Cook County state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice re­cused it­self, McMa­hon is known for his me­thod­i­cal and de­tailed ap­proach in court. He is a for­mer part­ner in an elite law firm and has served for the past eight years as Kane County’s top pros­e­cu­tor. He has han­dled plenty of mur­der tri­als and pros­e­cuted sev­eral po­lice of­fi­cers for wrong­do­ing, but none com­pare with the high pro­file of this one.

Jody Glea­son: A pros­e­cu­tor with nearly three decades of ex­pe­ri­ence, Glea­son has been Kane County’s first as­sis­tant state’s at­tor­ney since 2009. She has suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted a va­ri­ety of vi­o­lent crimes and com­plex cases, in­clud­ing first-de­gree mur­der, crim­i­nal sex­ual as­sault, nar­cotics of­fenses and gang of­fenses.

Mar­i­lyn Hite Ross: Cur­rently the Win­nebago County Crim­i­nal Bureau chief, Hite Ross is a ca­reer pros­e­cu­tor who for­merly worked in the Cook County state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice. She has suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted many ma­jor, com­plex cases in­clud­ing first mur­der and cap­i­tal mur­der cases, crim­i­nal sex­ual as­sault, nar­cotics cases and child death cases.

Joseph Cullen: A ca­reer pros­e­cu­tor, Cullen is cur­rently as­signed to the pri­or­ity pros­e­cu­tions unit in the Kane County state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice. He is also chief of the Traf­fic/ Mis­de­meanor Bureau. He has suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted about 35 first-de­gree mur­der cases, eight of which were death penalty cases.

“I re­spect po­lice of­fi­cers and think they just do their jobs.” — Ju­ror No. 1

“Ev­ery­one must abide by the law, in­clud­ing law en­force­ment of­fi­cers.” — Ju­ror No. 3

Daniel Weiler: An as­sis­tant Kane County state’s at­tor­ney since 2012, he han­dles felony cases. He has suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted a va­ri­ety of felonies, in­clud­ing first-de­gree mur­der, at­tempted mur­der, weapons of­fenses, nar­cotics of­fenses and gang of­fenses.

The judge

Judge Vincent Gaughan: Known for his sharp tongue and le­gal smarts, Judge Vincent Gaughan has han­dled some of the most high-pro­file cases in Cook County, in­clud­ing the Brown’s Chicken mas­sacre and the R. Kelly child pornog­ra­phy tri­als. Gaughan’s se­cre­tive style has been roundly crit­i­cized by the me­dia, though he has said he has kept im­por­tant doc­u­ments sealed and held closed-door hear­ings in or­der to en­sure Van Dyke has a fair trial. A Viet­nam War hero and the son of Ir­ish im­mi­grants, Gaughan served as a Cook County pub­lic de­fender be­fore be­com­ing a judge in 1991.


The wit­ness stand and jury box in the court­room of Judge Vincent Gaughan.

The pros­e­cut­ing at­tor­ney desk and jury box area.

The court­room’s gallery.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.