NEWS

State Briefs 6/5/08

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Guns handed over to Drew Peterson’s son

BOLINGBROOK – A six-month court battle over guns seized from Drew Peterson's home in November officially came to an end Wednesday when Illinois State Police relinquished the weapons to Peterson's son.

State police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Burek confirmed eight of 11 seized guns were handed over to Peterson's son Stephen, an Oak Brook police officer, on Wednesday.

Two of the remaining weapons did not actually belong to Peterson. The third, an AR-15 assault rifle, will stay with police as evidence in a felony weapons charge against Peterson.

A hearing on the charge is set for June 30.

Suburban Life Publications

Dog-bitten patient steals hospital visitor's jacket

PEORIA - A tattoo-covered man stole a jacket Tuesday from an OSF Saint Francis Medical Center visitor who received it as a gift from her dying father.

The 20-year-old victim was walking from a set of elevators toward the snack shop inside the hospital about 6:30 p.m. when a man without a shirt snatched the jacket draped over her arm as he rounded the corner.

The man, who had a bandage wrapped around his hand, walked into the elevator and disappeared as the doors closed. A pack of cigarettes, located inside a jacket pocket, also was stolen.

Hospital security was able to determine the man had been treated for a dog bite. Police are investigating.

Journal Star, Peoria

Man’s murder conviction upheld

SPRINGFIELD – The state appellate court has reaffirmed a jury’s decision that convicted Dale Lash of carjacking, raping and murdering a 25-year-old Auburn woman in August 1999.

Lash, 45, was convicted in November 2002 of the crimes against Lori Hayes, after which he dumped her body in a cornfield and left her infant daughter in the back of the family’s vehicle in the parking lot of Parkway Pointe movie theater.

He had appealed the case once with the help of the Illinois appellate defender’s office and the appeal was argued in April 2005. The 4th District Appellate Court panel upheld the conviction then with a unanimous decision.

In March 2007, he appealed on his own, and the next month, his appeal was denied. He appealed that decision and again the appellate court has disagreed with his reasoning and has affirmed his original conviction.

The trial was held in Peoria because of publicity about the crime in the Springfield area. Lash was sentenced to death, but the sentences of everyone on Illinois’ death row were commuted to life in prison by then-Gov. George Ryan in January 2003.

State Journal-Register

Casinos ordered to pay surcharge to horse tracks

SPRINGFIELD — The state Supreme Court says Illinois' richest casinos must pay part of their profits to horse racetracks.

Four riverboats in the northern part of the state sued over a 2006 law that forced them to share the wealth with a declining racing industry. It required a two-year, three percent surcharge on boats with receipts over $200 million.

A Will County judge agreed that the law was unconstitutional because it didn't apply to five other riverboats in the state.

But a unanimous court has now reversed that opinion.

The tax had been paid under protest.

Journal Star, Peoria