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Will Judge Prather draw the line?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Will Judge Prather draw the line?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 29, 2013

On July 1, 2012, two Woodstock teenagers died in a single-car crash just outside Woodstock on Davis Road. Careful investigation by the accident-investigation division of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department led to the discovery of a second vehicle and the identification and arrest of Daniel "Potatoe" Huber.

A cell phone call to Huber may even have been in progress at the time of the crash, according to records of the telephone owned by the driver of the crashed vehicle.

Huber was charged with drag-racing, failure to report an accident and obstruction of justice (six counts, in all) on August 8. And then the normal, let's-drag-it-out-as-long-as-possible court process started.

A common strategy to demand a jury trial. When that happens, the judge ought to set a trial date. Hello? That is, actually set a trial date. Like, a real date, on the calendar. Then let both sides start working toward that date.

But what happens in McHenry County? Continuance after continuance. What goes on the calendar is "Status - Trial Date". And then another continuance.

Probably some "deal" is in the works. A 402 Conference (deal-making session) was scheduled for February 28 and then continued. And then scheduled for April 2, and then continued. And then finally held on April 25. And now a date is set for May 23 for "Status". Why not for trial?

There is either a deal or there isn't. If the two sides can't agree, then go to trial. Set a trial date, and have the trial. No last-minute deal then.

If the judges would stop fooling around and put a stop to the "Let's Make a Deal" game, the backlog of cases would clear up. Lawyers would have to earn their fees. County costs would go down. Huber has a Public Defender.

This means that McHenry County (that's you) is paying for the prosecution and for the defense. Taxpayers are getting hit with both ends of the bill. So why not cut it down? Give him a fair trial; just give it to him right away.

He's got a car; right? He was driving it with he was drag-racing (alleged, of course) with the driver of the other car. Well, couldn't he sell the car and pay for his lawyer?

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