It is not easy to win a criminal acquittal; not by jury and not through a bench trial. It has been six agonizing years for Diane Chavez, as a criminal defendant. Today, she was exonerated:

Diane Chavez was acquitted today following a stipulated bench trial.

Diane was arrested on February 6, 2008, in connection with the Greg Clark murder investigation; the same day that Richard Wanke’s bond was revoked and he was picked up and also jailed.

Diane was charged in 2008 with 2 counts of “Obstruction of Justice” for allegedly lying to the police when she said that Richard Wanke did not live with her in her apartment at 1113 Grant Ave, but that he was the tenant of the duplex she owned and lived in the apt below her at 1111 Grant Ave.

The police wanted to search Diane’s duplex on February 6, 2008, and she refused to allow the search without proper warrants. The Rockford Police and the State used their assertion that she lied with respect to where Wanke lived as constituting some type of obstruction of the police murder investigation.

Wanke’s address in February 2008 was really immaterial. The police obtained search warrants without clay or trouble; searched both Grant Ave apartments and found nothing that incriminated anyone in the Clark murder. It is apparent that when the police first arrived at the duplex they intended to search both of it’s apartments at the outset. They testified at trial that they knocked on the downstairs door of 1111 Grant Ave first, and then went to 1113 Grant Ave when no one responded. At 1113 Grant Ave, the police spoke to Diane Chavez who was home in her apartment.

  1. Linda Doggett says:

    Richard, my heart goes out to you and Ms. Chavez, I so wish that I was an attorney and could help resolve this horrible tragedy they have placed you in. The law, is actually “guilty until proven innocent”. Illinois does not allow people to make mistakes, that they do not pay for, for the rest of your life. Stealing is a far cry from murder. Because you were guilty of one crime, should not mean you are automatically guilty of another.

    To me, it seems that Police sometimes act like the bully from high school. You know the kind, the ones that now cause children to commit suicide, because the pain is so great. Lets look at Drew Peterson, now where is he sitting? I, for one, read your blog all the time, and I feel like you are getting treated unjustly. I just wanted you to know, that you do have people that think your innocent, but I have no political pull or degree to help you. I will pray for you, and try to stay strong. I feel so bad for Ms. Chavez, that they have caused so much stress on her for so many years. It is heart breaking. I look at the picture of her when she was first being investigated, compared to her recent picture, of being found not guilty. And she has changed so much. Stress will do that to you, I’m sure you know that. Anyhow, just so you know, I wish you peace and may God find a way to help you, so they can find you innocent. I do not know you, but it has to be so hard.

    Linda Jo Doggett

    On Mon, Mar 9, 2015 at 1:50 PM, RichardWanke.Com wrote:

    > 1peacestore posted: “It is not easy to win a criminal acquittal; not > by jury and not through a bench trial. It has been six agonizing years for > Diane Chavez, as a criminal defendant. Today, she was exonerated: See press > release”


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