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Another Cold-Case Acquittal

Judge Tim Sheldon, Kane County, found Juan Verdugo, 27, of Aurora, not guilty in the December 21, 2003, murder of Robert Rem, 17, saying the prosecution’s main witness was unreliable. 

The witness, whose credibility was attacked by defense attorney Liam Dixon during the trial, was testifying in exchange for reduced charges in two other murders.

“I think he’s obviously getting away with a murder in the real sense – that’s not hyperbole,” said Dixon. “That’s a decision the state will have to live with.”

Dixon has represented eight defendants from First Degree Burn, a massive 2007 sweep that resulted in 31 murder charges, and none of those eight cases ended in convictions.


Class X Drug Charges Dismissed

In People v. Cervantes, the Defendant’s house was searched in 2003. The Defendant was charged in 2005 but not arrested until 2009. Mr. Dixon file a Motion to Dismiss based on pre-trial delay.

After three days of hearings the court denied the motion based on new evidence presented on the last day of hearing. Mr. Dixon then filed another Motion to Dismiss based on People v. Newberry. The court granted the motion and all charges in that case were dismissed.


Armed Violence Dismissed

People v. Jimmy Torres, the Defendant was charged with Armed Violence, Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance, Felon Possession/Use of a Machine Gun and Felon Possession of a Weapon.

The State offered 20 years. After a bench trial the defendant was found not guilty of the Armed Violence, Possession with Intent to Deliver, and Possession of a Machine Gun. He was sentenced to four years, credit for time served, on the simple Possession of Weapon.


Not Guilty of Rape

After a bench trial, Ruben Ramos was found not guilty of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault. The case rested on the credibility of the witnesses. Mr. Dixon cross-examined the State’s witnesses, including the accuser, and the judge ruled she was not credible. Ramos was found not guilty of all counts.


Aggravated DUI Case Dismissed

Defendant was charged with her fifth DUI. The basis for the stop was driving too slow. Mr. Dixon filed a Motion to Quash Arrest and a Petition to Rescind the Summary Suspension. Mr. Dixon was successful in his Petition to Rescind.

He then asked for a hearing on the Motion to Quash Arrest. The DeKalb County State’s Attorney agreed with his motion and dismissed the entire case without a hearing. The defendant is eligible to have her driving privileges reinstated.


Attempted Murder Charges Dropped

Attempted murder charges were dropped against Omar Ambriz. Liam Dixon’s client was awaiting DNA results when all the charges were dropped by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.


Case Law Update

People v. Urbina & Fahey. (2nd Dist.) In a McHenry County case, the police searched an apartment, based on information from an informant. He said he purchased cocaine from the defendant in “D”, the first apartment on the left at the top of the stairs. When the police executed the warrant, the first apartment on the left was “C”. Apartment “D” was across the hall. Urbina & Fahey’s attorney, Liam Dixon, filed a motion to suppress multiple kilograms of cocaine seized. The trial court denied the motion and the defendants appealed. On appeal, the Second District found the motion to be well founded in law, and reversed the defendant's convictions. A hearing transcript was introduced in federal court and formed the basis for suppression of evidence in the federal case against Urbina & Fahey.