Tuesday, December 08, 2009

New Trial Likely for Former Officer Brian Quilici

Prosecutors likely will pursue a second trial for the former Richmond police officer accused of kicking a handcuffed man in the face.

McHenry County officials are reviewing their options after the Illinois Supreme Court declined to hear arguments surrounding Brian Quilici’s first trial. That means that the appellate court decision to overturn Quilici’s felony convictions stands.

“We’re going to review it and make a determination and most likely go to trial,” McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi said.

A McHenry County jury convicted Quilici of mob ac­tion, official misconduct and obstructing justice in the February 2005 beating of Ryan Hallett outside a Fox Lake bar. Quilici has said he was defending himself and a woman Hallett took hostage in the parking lot.

Quilici already has served a two-year prison sen­tence, so he will not receive any new punishment if convicted at a second trial. But Bianchi said he wanted a felony conviction to go on Quilici’s record so he won’t be eligible to serve as a police officer again.

Quilici’s attorney, Vincent Solano, did not return a call for comment Monday.

The appellate court tossed Quilici’s conviction largely because McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather told jurors that Quilici, as an off-duty police officer, did not have any arrest authority beyond making a citizen’s arrest. But, the appellate court found, Quilici did have full arrest powers because the incident happened in the same county as Quilici’s jurisdiction.

In a separate case, felony convictions against two other one-time police officers involved in Hallett’s beating were overturned. Ronald Pilati and Jerome Volstad later accepted plea bargains for misdemeanor attempted unlawful restraint. The misdemeanor convictions will not prevent them from serving again as police officers.

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