Police and Courts | WGLT

Police and Courts

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Former McLean County Board chair Matt Sorensen was sentenced Tuesday to a year in federal prison for his role in a billing-fraud scheme against his State Farm, the final chapter in a stunning fall for one of Central Illinois’ most prominent politicians.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

McLean County Circuit Court Judge David Butler signs dozens of orders of evictions each year as the judge who hears the bulk of landlord tenant cases for the county. 

He said it is rarely easy.

"When you put a single mother out who has one or six kids, it is always hard. I've had numerous cases where it's hard to enter an order of possession that tells somebody you have seven days to move everything you own out of this apartment or this house without knowing where to put it," Butler said.

Courtesy / McLean County Sheriff's Office

A man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Tuesday for opening fire on a rival on Bloomington’s east side—a shooting that put several nearby vehicles and a store in the crossfire.

Kirk Zimmerman mugshot
McLean County Sheriff's Department

Last month at a hearing Judge Scott Drazewski told both sides he would like to be ready to set a trial date for Kirk Zimmerman at the hearing coming up Thursday.

A 41-year-old Bloomington man is dead after a motorcycle crash Thursday night in northeast Normal.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal residents were reminded Monday to check their smoke detectors after authorities released the cause of a fatal condo fire in Normal.

A jury convicted a 25-year-old man Tuesday in a scheme to deposit forged checks at a Normal bank and then withdraw the money from ATMs before the bad checks could be discovered.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A Blue Lives Matter rally outside Bloomington City Hall on Monday evening drew about 15 people.

Staff / WGLT

Attorneys for Alan Beaman say they will ask the Illinois Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling exonerating former Town of Normal police officers who Beaman accused of conspiring to wrongfully and maliciously prosecute him.

Courtesy / Normal Police

A 21-year-old Carlock woman is in custody after allegedly hitting a pedestrian with her vehicle and fleeing the scene, only to be tracked down by police two weeks later.

A 22-year-old Bloomington man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for receiving child pornography, prosecutors said Thursday.

Travis Cornwall in Police HQ
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Last month, when Snapchat rolled out a new feature that automatically shared users’ locations on a map, alarm bells went off for Heyworth Police Chief Mike Geriets.

Jon Sandage

McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage is running for re-election. Sandage cited achievements in increasing drug enforcement efforts as a reason he hopes people will vote for him again.

"We have dedicated another detective to our detective division and started running narcotics cases out of our detective division. We have also added a K-9 unit to the patrol division and we are working a lot more drug interdiction details," said Sandage.

Bloomington Police Department

The man accused of stabbing a Peoria woman to death in a Bloomington motel last month now faces new charges.

Police say 32-year old Kyle Brestan was arrested again at the McLean County Jail on seven counts of the manufacture and possession of child pornography.

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

Another shooting in Bloomington, and another leg wound. Police don't believe the wound locations in each of the four shootings since April 28th is significant. 

Tex Texin / Flickr

Police have arrested a 22-year-old man from Normal for shooting a man to death in Normal on Wednesday.

Judith Valente / GLT News

As part of their Social Work in Action class, a group of Illinois Wesleyan University students began interviewing people who have been arrested in McLean County.  

Alan Cleaver / Flickr

A 33-year old Brimfield man shot himself Tuesday afternoon on I-74 near Carlock. McLean County Coroner Kathleen Davis said Paul S. Smith died of a penetrating contact gunshot wound of the head.

The incident remains under investigation by the McLean County Coroner's office and State Police.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington police said they want to look at a next generation body camera product because the first one under review doesn't have enough battery life.

Cameras are supposed to have eight hours of recording time. But, some batteries are lasting only three hours. Chief Brendan Heffner said the law is ambiguous because it's not clear whether ten hours refers to recording capacity or battery life.

Sergeant Clayton Arnold is overseeing the pilot project of 12 officers using body cams. Sergeant Arnold said there are procedural hurdles to clear as well, such as deciding how much time to allocate for report writing with access to body camera footage.

Chief Heffner talks to aldermen
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A citizen review board for police will not be a slam dunk in Bloomington, if early council discussion is a guide.

Several Aldermen said they wanted to learn more about the options during a work session on the issue. A couple want to move ahead and have staff draft an ordinance. Alderman David Sage said he sees no case for the panel.

A former Bloomington High School Spanish teacher has admitted to second degree murder.

30-year old Sarah Mellor stabbed her 31-year old husband Mark in the chest during a struggle at a Carlock area campground in October.
    
Sarah Mellor has been in the Woodford County Jail since then and resigned her teaching position while in custody.

Mellor will be sentenced July 18. The sentence could range from 20 years in prison down to time served and probation.

Staff / WGLT

The police chief in Normal said he's pleased with crime trends.

Rick Bleichner said so-called index crimes reported to the FBI declined modestly while the overall crime rate was down 8 percent last year.

Isabella Rodriguez / WGLT

The first day of a discovery recount for the Normal mayoral race revealed no dramatic change in the result.

Candidate Marc Tiritilli had requested a recount of a quarter of the precincts in the town after losing to incumbent Chris Koos by 11 votes. 6,336 voters went to the polls in the Mayoral race April 4, 2017.

Staff / WGLT

61 social service agencies suing the State of Illinois over the budget impasse got their day in court on Thursday.

An attorney for the agencies told Illinois Appellate Court judges the agencies are political hostages because of the budget impasse. Those groups are suing the state to get paid what they’re owed.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington police say someone shot a teenager near Miller Park early Thursday morning.

That is the second shooting in the last week.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Mayor of Normal is not enthusiastic about a formal welcoming cities ordinance. Area groups marched on Bloomington City Hall this week asking for an ordinance to limit local government cooperation with federal immigration and customs enforcement, or ICE.

Mayor Chris Koos of Normal said he supports keeping immigrant families together, but not through that method.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Police say they have made no arrests yet in connection with a shooting on Springfield Road.

The gunfire happened about nine o'clock Thursday evening in a parking lot of the 1700 block of Springfield Road.

Bloomington Police Department

It has been four years since Bloomington resident Haleigh Eichhorn disappeared.

Her body was found in rural Stanford on May 7, 2013 ten days after she was last seen.

Hastert To Lose Pension

Apr 26, 2017
Tannen Maury / EPA

An Illinois retirement board is terminating former U-S House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s state pension.

He’d been collecting about $28,000 a year for his service in the state legislature.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

McLean County Sherriff Jon Sandage is banning cell phones in the Law and Justice Center starting in June.

Sandage said some people were violating policy against photos and recordings in court.

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