Judge allows DNA evidence in police commander’s trial

SHARE Judge allows DNA evidence in police commander’s trial
SHARE Judge allows DNA evidence in police commander’s trial

Key DNA evidence in the case against a Chicago police commander accused of jamming a handgun in a man’s mouth two years ago will be allowed in at trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Lawyers for police Cmdr. Glenn Evans argued that investigators overstepped their authority when they asked Evans to hand over the gun allegedly used in the assault so that it could be swabbed for DNA evidence.

But Cook County Judge Diane Cannon disagreed. Cannon said that, as a police officer, Evans “gives up certain rights.” She did not elaborate. She also said Evans voluntarily handed over his weapon.

“The search was not unreasonable,” Cannon said. Investigators “didn’t break into his house in the middle of the night.”

Evans was charged last year with official misconduct and aggravated battery, both felonies. Until he was put on leave, Evans was commander of the West Side’s Harrison District.

The charges are in connection with an incident Jan. 30, 2013, in which Evans allegedly put the barrel of his revolver into a man’s mouth while he was being restrained after a chase on the South Side.

Police records show Evans and other officers chased Rickey J. Williams after they spotted him holding a handgun on the street near 71st and Eberhart. They arrested him in a nearby vacant home but didn’t recover a weapon, according to a police report. Williams was arrested for reckless conduct. The charge was later dropped.

Prosecutors say the evidence found on Evans’ gun matches Williams’ DNA.

Evans’ attorneys argued, among other things Wednesday, that based on the very sketchy information from Williams about his arrest, investigators didn’t have sufficient grounds to single out Evans as a suspect.

And Evans’ attorneys argued that Evans didn’t volunteer to give up his weapon; he had no choice.

“He has to comply or he risks losing his job,” said one of his attorneys, Laura Morask.

Morask also said investigators, in asking Evans to hand over his weapon, had violated his right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment.

Cannon made her ruling without prosecutors needing to argue against the defense motion.

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