Thursday, May 13, 2021

MC Member Wants Expert Witness Called

Joliet, Illinois, USA (May 13, 2021) - The Will County State's Attorney's Office filed a motion this week asking a judge to prevent first-degree murder defendant Jeremy Boshears from calling an expert witness with Larsen Forensic & Associates to testify that Katie Kearns took her own life and was not the victim of a homicide inside the Joliet Outlaws clubhouse.

Boshears, a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, has remained in the Will County Jail since November 18, 2017, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kearns. According to prosecutors, she was his new girlfriend at the time of her gunshot death inside the Outlaws Clubhouse in Joliet.

About three-and-a-half years ago, Kearns vanished after tending bar at the Woody's Bar in the 1000 block of East Washington Street. Kearns planned to visit the Outlaws clubhouse, just up the road, after tending bar on Joliet's east side. Her body was found four days later southeast of Joliet, in rural St. Anne, in Kankakee County. She was dead inside the Jeep with a single gunshot wound to her head, police said.

According to court records, the Will County Sheriff's Police suspected the bullet wound to Kearns' head occurred inside the Outlaws clubhouse and "they located a hole consistent with the size of a bullet in the ceiling. They entered the ceiling area/attic and found a bullet ricochet mark on a roof rafter. A search revealed a spent bullet among the ceiling rafters and insulation."

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In Monday's filing by Assistant Will County State's Attorney Steven Platek, the prosecutor asked Will County's judges to bar Boshears' criminal defense lawyers Neil Patel and Chuck Bretz from presenting opinions at trial from Arthur Borchers, who is employed by Larsen Forensics & Associated located in Glen Ellyn.

According to prosecutors: "Arthur Borchers concludes that the victim in this matter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. That evidence from the scene when compared to the entrance and exit wounds to the victim were analyzed and allow reconstruction of bullet paths and angles."

The prosecution's motion goes on to state that Borchers determined "That there are no eyewitness statements or accounts as to what happened when the gunshot was fired."

"Arthur Borchers assumes body positions and angles of the victim's head without any basis," the prosecutor argued. "Additionally, he assumes that the defendant, if shooting, would have had a 'natural shooting position with a straight arm.' There is no basis for this assumption."

Lastly, the prosecution maintained that "concluding the gunshot was self-inflicted goes far beyond his expertise of forensic reconstruction and has no basis ... the people of the state of Illinois respectfully request this honorable court to grant people's motion for barring any testimony that this was a self-inflicted gunshot wound."

Monday's motion was submitted by Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow and assistant state's attorney Platek.

Will County's judges have previously authorized multiple payments of taxpayer funds to allow Bretz, Flynn & Associates to hire the expert witnesses with Larsen Forensic & Associates as they explored an alternative death scenario suggesting that Kearns, who had a history of severe depression and had been hospitalized for suicidal tendencies, took her own life at age 24.

According to Will County court records, Boshears will be back in court May 17 to set a hearing date on the prosecution's motion seeking to prevent Borchers from testifying to his alternative theory regarding the death of Kearns. At the May 17 hearing, a judge may also set a date for Boshears' jury trial.


Friday, May 7, 2021

Arrest Made After Outlaws Clubhouse Raid

Anderson, Indiana, USA (May 7, 2021) - A man accused of a stabbing turned himself into authorities overnight, according to Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger. Christopher Smith, is charged with a Level 2 felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and Level 3 felony aggravated battery. A warrant was issued for Smith’s arrest on April 15.

According to authorities, Smith and Matthew Pope, 46, also of Anderson, are accused of stabbing Steven Henderson around 1:30 a.m. on April 1 at Woody’s Bar in Lapel. Pope has been in custody on the same charges as Smith since April 27. He is being held on a $35,000 full cash bond.

Witnesses told investigators that Smith and Pope followed Henderson into the bar’s restroom, according to an affidavit of probable cause by Brad Oster of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. Henderson was wearing an Outlaws Motorcycle club vest with Chicago markings the night he was stabbed, according to Oster.

Witnesses then told authorities that Smith and Pope “came running out of the restroom” and Smith was holding the vest Henderson had worn. “A few moments later, Steven Henderson was seen crawling out of the restroom and he had been stabbed in his abdomen, upper left leg and face,” according to Oster’s affidavit.

RELATED | Outlaws MC Clubhouse Raided in Anderson Indiana

Henderson’s artery was cut and he required seven liters of blood and is undergoing extensive medical treatments for his injuries, according to Oster. Henderson told investigators the stabbing was because of “Outlaw business between the Chicago, Fort Wayne and Anderson chapters,” according to the affidavit.

He told investigators the men were trying to get information out of him about the Chicago clubhouse, but declined to elaborate. Henderson said he had a knife on his belt when he went into the restroom, but it was stolen that night and he believes it might be the knife that was used to stab him.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Outlaws MC Clubhouse Raided in Anderson Indiana

Anderson, Indiana, USA (May 3, 2021) - Anderson Police, Madison County Sheriffs deputies and Indiana State troopers raided the Anderson, Indiana headquarters of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club Saturday.

Law enforcement were looking for a suspect and any evidence in a near fatal stabbing from middle April. “A warrant was executed, a warrant was obtained, and with two or three SWAT teams that warrant was executed last night at the Outlaws clubhouse. We took some evidence. What the value of that evidence is right now we really don’t know for sure. There may be some value there.” Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said. 

Cummings said investigators were searching for evidence regarding the assault of a Chicago man in the restroom of Woody’s Tavern in Lapel last month. “He came here, stopped in a bar, had Outlaws motorcycle club gear and patches, and there happened to be two real Outlaws MC members in the bar,” said Cummings. “They weren’t too happy to find he was a guy wearing the stuff but really wasn’t part of their club, got into a conflict, he got stabbed several times.”

Police have already arrested Matthew Pope, 46, and are still seeking Chris Smith, 34. “They concluded he was not a real Outlaw and the conflict took off and after they stabbed him, they took his colors and his jacket and left,” said Cummings. “He didn’t have those anymore.”

Cummings said the Outlaws have traditionally kept a low profile in Madison County and as a result have not been the target of any extensive criminal investigations. “There’s been Outlaws here for decades,” he said, “but off-and-on, sometimes they come, sometimes they go, it appears they’re coming back, making an appearance here.”

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Probate for Outlaws MC Charged by Police

Toronto, Ontario, (May 2, 2021) - Five people from Kingston and Whitby, including an Outlaws Motorcycle Club probationary member have been charged by police following a multi-jurisdictional investigation that yielded roughly $400,000 worth of drugs.

The street crime unit and drug enforcement unit narrowed their focus to the actions of a probationary member of the Kingston chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Once the investigation focused on him, the Provincial Biker Enforcement Unit became involved, OPP Staff Sgt. Scott Wade said. He noted that Kingston Police are a major partner in the Biker Enforcement Unit.

“While this investigation does not involve criminal organization charges, it certainly highlights the criminal activity that outlaw motorcycle gangs are involved in,” Wade said.

Police claim he and his associates were selling drugs in the Kingston area. Later in the investigation, police learned residents of Whitby were also involved, Cunningham said. “They were higher-end drug dealers, and that cell has been disrupted,” Cunningham said. “I would say it will make a serious impact on the cocaine and fentanyl trafficking in Kingston.”

Bringing in assistance from the Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit and Durham Regional Police, investigators decided to search four residences on April 24. Two were in central Kingston, one was the Outlaws clubhouse in Wilton, and the fourth was in Whitby.

During the local searches, officers found fentanyl, cocaine, suspected hydromorphone pills, digital scales, cash, prohibited weapons, rifles, body armour and cellphones. Four vehicles were also seized as offence-related property. 

Sgt. Ed Cunningham of Kingston Police’s Street Crime unit said some items were seized from the clubhouse but could not say what.

The Outlaws MC said in a statement to the Whig-Standard on Sunday that no one was at the clubhouse at the time of the search and it was later turned back over to its members. Two men were arrested at the Kingston residences while they were being searched, and he was arrested later, Cunningham said.

During the searches at the four residences, police seized 381 grams of cocaine, 1,035 grams of fentanyl, approximately $120,000 in cash, an Outlaws MC probationary vest, 42 hydromorphone pills, digital scales, six vehicles, a cash-counting machine, nine long guns and ammunition, a collapsible baton, a conducted energy weapon baton, throwing stars, a crossbow with bolts, a ballistic vest and drug packaging.

Police estimate the drugs are worth about $400,000 and the vehicles are worth about $250,000.

Police have charged him, who resides in Kingston, with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possession of hydromorphone for the purpose of trafficking, possession of dangerous weapons, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a prohibited weapon, and possession of proceeds of crime under $5,000. Cunningham said police are still investigating further firearms offences. None of the charges have been proven in court. 

The Outlaws MC association said in an email to the Whig-Standard that it is shocked by the news release sent by Kingston Police. It also clarified that a “probate” is not an official member of the association. The statement says that no weapons, drugs, vehicles or large amount of cash were seized from the clubhouse.

The association said it would not support those charged through the court process and stood by the statement on its website that says it is not a criminal organization. The Probationary Outlaw MC vest was likely seized because it was relevant to the charges, Wade said. “The vest and the colours are important to outlaw motorcycle gangs because it’s how they project or show their power,” Wade said.

SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen