Man Pleads Guilty in BB Gun Carjacking, Alleged Accomplice Going to Trial: Court Watch

Also, a former deputy fire chief has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder, sex assault of his Tinley Park neighbor.

A man who admitted to carjacking an Orland Park restaurant employee last summer with a BB gun was sentenced to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections Thursday, but the woman he said helped him plan the crime is moving forward with a trial.

Jonathan Sarolas, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular hijacking, a class X felony. However, the woman he named as his accomplice has requested a bench trial.

April Schmidt, 24, is moving forward with a bench trial, her lawyer announced Thursday. She had been offered a plea deal by the state but turned it down, her attorney said.

Schmidt's trial is set for April 11.

Patch rounds up the Southland's major criminal and civil cases being heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.


The former Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief accused of the attempted murder and attempted rape of his Tinley Park neighbor has pleaded not guilty to felony charges.

The felony indictment of Gary Swiercz, 50, includes two counts of attempted murder, three counts of home invasion, seven counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of residential burglary and one count of aggravated unlawful restraint. His next court date has been set for March 26.

ORLAND PARK - Evidence Phase Continues in Child Porn, Sex Chatting Case

The case against an Orland Park man charged with felony sex crimes involving underaged girls continued in court this week as both sides exchanged evidence. Kevin Skaritka, 36, is scheduled to be back in court on March 28.

ORLAND PARK - UPDATE: ‘Ghost Rider’ Lawyer Dismissed from Case

The trial of Justin Jachiemic, a 22-year-old an Orland man accused of videotaping himself fleeing and eluding police on a motorcycle in clips that later ended up on Youtube was set to begin Wednesday, but his lawyer was dismissed because of a conflict regarding a witness.

EVERGREEN PARK - Woman Pleads Guilty to Leaving Disabled Men in Hot Van

A 47-year-old Elgin woman who is accused of leaving four disabled men in a hot van in a Walmart parking lot last summer has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years probation.

Kathy Reed will also have to pay $584 in court costs and will get off of probation on Jan. 27, 2015. She is also ordered to have no contact with the victims.

PALOS - Man Pleads Guilty in Teen OD Case

Nineteen-year-old Matthew Lefebvre pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment for supplying a teenager who overdosed on heroin twice.

According to court records, Lefebvre took the plea in late January, but the convictions won't add to a two-year prison sentence he received for violating his probation with the new arrests. 

FRANKFORT - Snitch in Jailhouse Hit Man Case Popped on Domestic Battery Rap

The star witness in the case against a Frankfort lawyer charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife was arrested for allegedly hitting a woman.

The witness, Brian McDaniel, who allegedly wore a wire to catch attorney Robert Gold-Smith's murderous plans, was booked into the Will County jail on a domestic battery charge Wednesday night.

It was in that very same jail that McDaniel, 49, and Gold-Smith, 50, first met. After making Gold-Smith's acquaintance, McDaniel voluntarily wore a wire for detectives with the sheriff's department, sources said, and recorded his fellow-inmate attempting to set up his wife's murder.




  • Man as 'Orland Ghost Rider'
Maria April 04, 2013 at 03:51 PM
If he went to Court why has nothing been reported?


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