The four thugs who recorded their vicious assault on a man with disabilities on Facebook Live are being defended by claims that their charges are “sensationalized.”
Judge Peggy Chiampas has bared cameras from recording the court proceedings as well as courtroom sketch artists from depicting the faces of the attackers.
Public Defender Amy Campanelli is worried that the defendants’ assault is being “sensationalized,” meaning that Americans are disgusted by their heinous acts.
Of course good people think the attackers, Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, and Tanishia and Brittany Covington are despicable people. The court wants sympathy for the victim and outrage over what these punks did to him to be painted as a bad thing.
The four attackers stole a van to kidnap and later torture a mentally disabled youth. They beat and forced the teen into submission while they cut off his clothes and hair, sliced his scalp with a knife, and made him drink toilet water. While attacking the teen, the assailants screamed “F*** Donald Trump! F*** white people!” and later uploaded a trophy video of their actions online to humiliate their victim further.
It is not “sensationalizing” the story to show a little humanity and think of these criminals as awful people, nor is it outrageous to decide that the obviously guilty are not fit to go free before their trial.
Chicago Tribune reports:
“Sensationalized, pervasive media coverage threatens to poison the jury pool for my clients,” Campanelli said, though trials in high-profile cases at the Leighton Criminal Court Building can take years to take place. “They have already been denounced in the media before anything has been proven.
“Worse, these are young people who should not be held in jail but are being held without bond because they have been prejudged,” she said. “We will be seeking their release from jail.”
Prosecutors did not make public what was in the indictment, but in an earlier criminal complaint, Hill, 18, of Carpentersville; Cooper, 18, of Chicago; and Brittany Covington, 19, and her sister Tanishia, 24, were each charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Police allege Hill met with the victim, a classmate in Aurora, Dec. 31 at a McDonald’s in suburban Streamwood and drove him to an apartment on Chicago’s West Side. The 28-minute live-streamed video showed the group punching and kicking the victim, cutting his scalp and hair with a knife, and forcing him to drink toilet water.
The defense is appealing to easily manipulated folks, calling the assailants “young people” and hoping to arouse sympathy for these viscous criminals.
A Tumblr post was used as evidence that protection is needed for the defendants, and that a fair trial would be impeded by public reaction.
Let’s remember that this is not a reaction to false information but to an accurate recording of the crime.
Chicago Tribune continues:
At a hearing Thursday to decide if cameras would be allowed in the courtroom, lawyers for each defendant objected, citing concerns over safety and the possibility of inhibiting a fair trial.
Neil Toppel, an assistant public defender for Brittany Covington, cited a Tumblr post calling for the “public execution” of the defendants and anyone who supported them.
“To me it sounds like someone put out a death warrant,” Toppel told reporters after the hearing.
Prosecutors have said in court that the 18-year-old victim has schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and lives with his parents in suburban Streamwood.
Campanelli pledged Friday to “zealously” represent the four, starting with seeking to reduce their bail after the case is assigned to a trial judge.
It’s a shame that somebody has to represent these monsters in court, but to “zealously” defend them through nonsense arguments is a blow to humanity and an insult to the victim and his family.
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