Murder Suspect Walks out of Chicago Hospital

by Steven Goldman

In December, 21-year-old Mark Cherry was rushed to Chicago-area Advocate Christ Medical Center with a gunshot wound. After spending three months in the hospital—much of that time spent unconscious—Cherry discharged himself and walked out. The problem with this situation is that Cherry was a suspect in a home invasion and death of a 22-year-old man.

Cherry was allegedly one of three men involved in the invasion and police had him airlifted to the hospital after discovering he had been shot. Neither the hospital nor police are taking the blame for Cherry’s accidental release, both pointing fingers in the other direction. The hospital stated that they cannot lawfully prevent someone from leaving against his will and that they cannot notify any third parties of a person’s discharge without explicit written consent. A hospital representative further stated that they would expect a police guard to be on duty outside a patient’s room if he was under suspicion for a serious crime.

The home invasion took place in Gary, Indiana and police stated they have no jurisdiction to guard a suspect in Chicago. Police also did not ask Chicago law enforcement to guard Cherry, as the Chief of police stated they “assumed” the hospital would notify them of Cherry’s release. Cherry has been on the run since February and the police state they have few clues to his whereabouts.

If he is found, Cherry will face the following charges:

  • Murder;
  • Attempted murder;
  • Battery with a deadly weapon; and
  • Criminal confinement.

Police Jurisdiction in Chicago

Illinois courts have held that police have jurisdiction in any municipality that adjoins the arresting officer’s police district. In a 2011 case, People v. Contreras, an Illinois appellate court held that police only have permission to act outside of this set jurisdiction under two main circumstances:

· If the arrest arises from an investigation of an offense that actually occurred in the officer’s jurisdiction, even though the arrest may take place in another part of the state; or
· The officer became “personally aware” that a misdemeanor or felony offense was being immediately committed.

In the Contreras case, because neither of the above circumstances applied, the court kept out evidence that officers found as a result of the stop and arrest.

Contact a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are arrested in Chicago for any type of criminal offense, an experienced attorney can help fight your charges and defend your case on the basis that the arresting officers did not have jurisdiction to stop or detain you. This is only one of many available defenses for criminal charges that an attorney may use in Illinois to have your charges reduced or even completely dismissed.

If you have been charged with a crime, your first step should be to contact a Chicago criminal defense attorney for help. You may face serious consequences such as jail time, probation, and more, and you should never risk your freedom by not having a proper defense. Steven Goldman has extensive experience defending criminal charges in the Chicago area, so do not hesitate to call our office today for help.

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