If you are interested in learning more about Richard’s case, then pull down the tab above labelled “Who is Richard Wanke” and click on the “Greg Clark Murder” tab beneath it to read more about Richard’s murder case and predicament. The page is updated as the case progresses with court filings, transcripts, and explanations of events as they unfold. Please feel free to add your comments as you read. If you wish to help out, please attend the court dates as they are announced. If you are media, we hope your coverage will be balanced in it’s approach. If you are an interested defense attorney and will consider either pro bono assistance or court appointment, please call (779) 348 – 2487, anytime to prevent further injustice. Anyone is also welcome to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we also welcome Facebook readers of richardwanke and injustice everywhere to this site.
August 21, 2015 6:14 pm • By Kristen Zambo(1) Comments
RACINE — Lawyers on Friday said the state’s top prosecutors plan to appeal a Racine County judge’s ruling that overturned a man’s conviction in a 1995 attempted rape, which ultimately led to his being freed after 20 years behind bars.
Daniel G. Scheidell, 66, of Racine, has been free for about a month after Racine County Circuit Court Judge John Jude overturned his two-decades-old conviction in June and ordered a new trial.
The state Attorney General’s Office this month filed a notice that it intends to appeal, but the formal appeal hasn’t yet been filed, one of Scheidell’s defense attorneys, Steven Wright, said after a hearing on Friday.
“I’m certainly not giving up.”
— Daniel G. Scheidell, 66, of Racine
By Jeff Kolkey
Rockford Register Star
Posted Aug. 18, 2015 at 2:24 PM
Updated Aug 18, 2015 at 6:17 PM
ROCKFORD — Attorneys for a 22-year-old man accused in the Dec. 20 killings of a young mother, her two sons and her boyfriend asked Judge John Truitt today to bar evidence from his eventual trial based on an argument that it was seized illegally.
Winnebago County Assistant Public Defenders Nick Zimmerman and Edward Light say a duplex apartment their client, Calvin Carter, shared with his uncle was entered by Rockford Police Department detectives without a warrant on the morning of Christmas Eve as they investigated the quadruple homicide. They argued police officers obtained a search warrant only after they had already conducted an initial search of the apartment at 422 11th St.
“The search was without probable cause, without a warrant, without permission to enter,” and was therefore illegal and in violation of the U.S. Constitution, Zimmerman argued. “They really had no information to believe (Carter) was there at that time.”
But Winnebago County Assistant State’s Attorneys Marilyn Hite Ross and James Brun said police investigating the quadruple homicide had every right to enter the home. They were looking for Carter who was already wanted on a retail theft warrant out of East St. Louis and had become a prime suspect in the killings.
After learning Carter wasn’t in the apartment, the officers left without taking any items and returned with a valid search warrant from a Winnebago County judge.
“The evidence will show there was no unreasonable search,” Hite Ross told Truitt.
The hearing at times grew heated, with tempers flaring during tense exchanges over what could be critical evidence including cellphones, gloves, flash drives and clothing. The hearing is expected to conclude Thursday afternoon.
Carter has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder in the killings of Martia Flint, 24, her two sons, Tobias Smith, 4, and Tyrone Smith, 6, along with her boyfriend, Demontae Rhodes, 24. Carter had been in a relationship with Flint, a dental assistant. Flint had for years dated Rhodes, a childhood friend, before they briefly broke up and then reunited.
The four were shot to death in their apartment in the 3200 block of Montrose Avenue.
Investigators, based on interviews with witnesses and more than 1,800 text messages downloaded from her phone, believe Flint had in the days before the killings complained to friends and family about abuse at the hands of Carter and voiced concern he might try to hurt her. Carter disputes those allegations.
Defense attorneys attempted to show police had no probable cause to conduct an initial search the 11th Street apartment. Their questions pointed out that a neighbor said it had been quiet the prior few days and didn’t recognize a photo of Carter.
Rockford Police Detective Brad Shelton testified that officers entered the apartment without a search warrant because they thought there was a chance Carter was there. Detectives worked relentlessly in the days after the killings to track down Carter, who had exchanged numerous text messages with Flint until an hour before the slayings when the messages abruptly stopped.
Illinois governor signs police guidelines for body cameras – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, ILPosted: August 15, 2015 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized
By The Associated Press
Posted Aug. 12, 2015 at 11:40 AM
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation making Illinois among the first states to establish a comprehensive plan addressing police procedures including body cameras.
The proposal that Rauner signed into law on Wednesday establishes reporting requirements for police who make stops or arrests and guidelines for training, like about racial bias. It also largely prohibits excessive force like choke holds.
Dozens of states have passed measures in the wake of last year’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Three states passed comprehensive plans: Illinois, Colorado and Connecticut.
Supporters call the measure a model for other states.
Rauner signed the bill privately. In a statement he says it helps strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the public.
Sales tax increase considered to bolster Winnebago County Sheriff’s staff – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, ILPosted: August 15, 2015 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized
By Kevin Haas
Rockford Register Star
Posted Aug. 11, 2015 at 9:23 PM
Updated Aug 11, 2015 at 10:42 PM
ROCKFORD — Winnebago County Board members floated the idea of a sales tax increase Tuesday to pay for a $6.7 million plan to bolster staff and other resources for the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department.
The suggested tax increase divided County Board members, but they agreed that a priority must be placed on fighting crime and vowed to explore all avenues to fund Sheriff Gary Caruana’s budget proposal. The department had not suggested the tax increase and top brass say their request can be funded with existing revenue. County Board members are less confident because they already face a budget deficit of more than $2 million before factoring in the $6.7 million request.
The sales tax increase was offered as a solution Tuesday during a joint meeting of the County Board’s Finance and Public Safety committees. Ten County Board members — half of the board — were in attendance to hear Caruana pitch his proposal to increase his annual budget about 19 percent to $41.8 million, largely for additional staff and the equipment and training they’ll need. County Board member Burt Gerl suggested a small sales tax increase that would sunset after three to four years to bolster staff. His idea would require voter approval of a tax hike referendum. A public safety sales tax such as that would not apply to food, titled vehicles or medicine. Ted Biondo, chairman of the Finance Committee, said raising the public safety sales tax from 1 percent to 1.25 percent could help generate the cash needed but it would be a tough sell to the public.
“What do you tell your constituents who have lost tens of thousands of dollars on their homes in property value, but they still are paying higher property taxes than they did five years ago,” Biondo said.
A quarter-cent public safety sales tax increase would bring the overall sales tax rate to 8.5 percent in Rockford.
The Sheriff’s Department staff is down almost 16 percent since 2007, according to the department. Caruana wants to hire 14 deputies on patrol, three detectives and 26 corrections officers, including a sergeant and a lieutenant. The proposal includes additional Winnebago County 911 center staff previously approved by the County Board in March. Caruana also requests an additional evidence custodian, reserve deputies to provide security for the county’s newly obtained Ware building, two deputies to serve on the warrant-serving Fugitive Apprehension Unit, one deputy assigned to oversee accreditation standards, nine administrative clerks for the records department, a crime research coordinator and community policing deputy.
“The crime in this community is outrageous. People do not want to come out of their doors because of crime,” County Board member Gary Jury said. Jury, however, said the board has to prioritize its spending rather than raise taxes.
Safety concerns fuel Winnebago County Sheriff’s fight for more jail officers – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, ILPosted: August 15, 2015 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized
By Kevin Haas
Rockford Register Star
Posted Jul. 31, 2015 at 4:21 PM
Updated Aug 1, 2015 at 9:26 PM
ROCKFORD — The fight started at the edge of a blind spot for jail security cameras. And Corrections Officer Sam Suddarth was alone with 45 fresh-off-the-street inmates.
Nearly two minutes had passed before anyone realized that Suddarth was engaged in a struggle with an inmate. It was almost three minutes before help arrived. The back-and-forth grappling match sent both Suddarth and the inmate slamming against cement walls before he released his grasp and radioed for backup.
“While other inmates just stood around, he was in a blind spot on one of the cameras so the desk officer couldn’t see him and was in just a ferocious fight,” said Mark Karner, chief deputy of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department.
For Karner, Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana and corrections officers, the June 27 fight exemplifies the dangers of an understaffed Winnebago County Jail. Suddarth was the sole officer locked in the jail pod with the inmates. He should be accompanied by a second officer, but there isn’t enough staff to do so, Jail Superintendent Bob Redmond said.
Caruana wants to bolster the corrections staff and is working to justify the expense to County Board members, who set the budget. But the board is already wrestling with an anticipated deficit totaling more than $2 million. Caruana’s first budget proposal since being elected asks for a $6.7 million increase to hire more deputies, corrections officers and other staff, as well as purchase equipment and provide training. The nearly $1.4 million request for 26 corrections officers, including two supervisors, surprised some County Board members who have watched as the jail’s average daily population has dropped 33 percent from its peak in 2012.
Despite the recent population decline, the jail is operating with 36 fewer staff members than it had upon opening in 2007, Karner said. The ratio of inmates to officers was 3-to-1 in 2007. It was nearly 4-to-1 in June, when the average daily jail population was 726. The average ratio has been 3.68-to-1 this year.
Weapon, drugs seized during Winnebago County Jail lockdown – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, ILPosted: August 15, 2015 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized
By Jeff Kolkey
Rockford Register Star
ROCKFORD — Winnebago County Corrections officers placed the jail on a 15-hour lockdown Sunday to conduct what is believed to be the first-ever search of the entire facility for contraband, weapons and drugs.
Under the direction of a new administration, Sheriff Gary Caruana said the search was part of an ongoing assessment effort to determine what is working and what can be improved at the Winnebago County Jail and with other functions of the sheriff’s office.
“At least we know we are starting out with a clean slate,” Caruana said.
A make-shift weapon and illegal prescription drugs were confiscated during the search. There were no arrests or charges filed in connection with the items that were found.
It was the first in what Caruana says will be a series of unannounced, periodic searches to “ensure the safety of the corrections officers and the inmates.”
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Corrections Emergency Response Team was assisted by K-9 units from Winnebago County, Rockford and Loves Park during the exhaustive search. New safeguards that include expanded training to detect and prevent illegal contraband from entering the jail are being implemented, Caruana said.
IDOC identifies inmate who died at Shawnee Correctional Center; investigation continues
By thesouthern.com- Molly Parker
The Illinois Department of Corrections has identified the inmate who died at Shawnee Correctional Center on Aug. 3 as Earl Campbell, 57, of Winnebago County. Officials with Illinois Department of Corrections confirmed that an inmate died this past Monday at Shawnee Correctional Center. Campbell had served several stints in state prison for a litany of home invasion, theft, possession and delivery of drugs, and parole violations for convictions dating back to 1989, IDOC records show.
Greg Lindmark was an experienced 53 year old investigator and past police officer who shot himself this year nearly on the anniversary of the Greg Clark murder and just before he was sued in a federal lawsuit for past alleged improper actions. No one anticipated his suicide. He was a Deputy Chief, and supervised and directed the work of local police officers on many cases in the Rockford Police before he retired from direct police work in 2011. Individuals seem determined to turn him into a local hero or at least to try and cast his death in a sympathetic light alleging that his death was caused by the ultimate toll of “work stress”. Whether this is the true cause of his death or an attempt by the family and others to rehabilitate a public image is the question for every one to consider. His death has many potential ramifications, and this foundation and allegation that his suicide concerned personal reasons can be an attempt to deflect criticism of his past roles and actions.
Landmark committed suicide, and so far at least, the reason for him doing so appears to be unknown. Certainly the reason has not been released or discussed publicly; not to the media and not by anyone who knew him.
Lindmark Foundation to Help Rockford Officers and First Responders Deal with Traumatic Stress – Story | MYSTATELINBy Mimi Murphy | email@example.com
Published 07/23 2015 09:27AMUpdated 07/23 2015 03:32PM
A local foundation has been established to help first responders dealing with the extreme stress that comes with the job. It was formed after a well known, well respected leader in law enforcement, Greg Lindmark, died earlier this year, his family became determined to turn his tragic death into a way to help others — something he would have wanted.
That’s because the stresses police, firefighters and other first responders face on the job can take a terrible toll, in too many cases, sometimes resulting in suicide.
On February 9th, retired Rockford Deputy Chief Greg Lindmark died of a self inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 53. He was a well respected 26 year veteran of the Rockford Police force.
By Susan Vela
Rockford Register Star
Posted Jul. 18, 2015 at 5:48 PM
Updated Jul 18, 2015 at 5:49 PM
ROCKFORD — Jury trials in the Rock River Valley have become more costly for counties.
Effective June 1, state law required that jurors be paid $25 for the first day of duty and $50 a day for each day thereafter. Previously, jurors got $13 a day.
As a result, the cost for a two-day trial with a 12-member jury, plus two alternate jurors, has jumped from $364 to $1,050.
County officials say it’s an additional unfunded state mandate that makes budgeting perilous.
“What are they, $6 billion upside their current budget?” Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen said, referring to a state budget deficit recently projected to be nearly $4 billion. “They’re worried about what we pay jurors. How absurd. How utterly absurd. Even if that’s a priority, then fund it.”
In budget discussions this fall, Thomas Jakeway, Winnebago County’s trial court administrator, said he’ll ask for up to $300,000 to pay for increased jury costs.
For now, his annual budget is about $385,000. That covers juror fees, the county jury commission’s staff of two full-time and two part-time employees, three jury commissioners, mailing, copying and other office expenses.
“We’re bound by what the legislative body puts forth,” Jakeway said. “Certainly, the jurors are a critical function of what we as the courts need. They preserve every citizen’s right to a jury trial. Fair and reasonable compensation is important, but the balance here is county-funded.”
Jakeway also is trial court administrator for Boone County, where jurors had been receiving $12.50 a day. Because of the change, he’s expecting to request $127,000 in the next budget year to pay for jurors. That’s up from $45,000 in this year’s budget.
Boone County State’s Attorney Michelle Courier said she’s willing to start earlier in the day and stay later to keep jury-trial days to a minimum. Start and end times for trials are up to the judge.
“It’s going to be a strain on our local budget, which is already strained,” she said. “But ultimately, that is going to be up to the courts to decide.”
Stephenson County Circuit Court clerk Nate Luy began tracking the increased costs when the state mandate took effect. In June, the county paid $12,050 to jurors, compared with $3,300 in June 2014, when the cost was $10 a day plus mileage.
He’s still not sure how that will affect his budget requests for next year.
By JOHN O’CONNOR – The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s state corrections director, who took over a crowded prison system just two months ago, has resigned, officials confirmed Friday
.The governor’s office gave no reason for the premature departure of Donald Stolworthy, named to the $150,228-a-year job on March 9.
“At our request, he has agreed to help during the transition period to continue our transformation of the Department of Corrections while we identify the leader that will succeed him,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in a statement.
Corrections Department spokeswoman Nicole Wilson said Stolworthy was “not available” for an interview Friday. She referred questions to Kelly.
The 54-year-old Stolworthy, put in charge of penitentiaries designed for 32,000 prisoners but which hold 48,000, had come from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, where he assessed foreign prison systems and guided senior administration officials.
Stolworthy raised some eyebrows early on with a memo that said sick-time and overtime rules governing union employees were leading to unreasonable costs. The Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reported in April that Stolworthy said contracts with bargaining units — such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — contribute to “many of the ills” in the agency.
With a budget of over $1 billion, the agency beset by legal actions over health care and mental health treatment and continued criticism of inmates conditions must deal with the same bleak financial picture that all state government faces.
Rauner and the General Assembly are entering the final week of the spring legislative session without agreement on a budget plan that faces a possible $6 billion deficit.