April 27th is the date set for the trial of 52 year old Scott Peters of Holiday Hills, Illinois, who shot at three McHenry county sheriff’s deputies in October 2014. Two of the three deputies were wounded from Peters’ assault rifle with one of them, deputy Dwight Maness, now confined to a wheelchair due to severe injuries in the shooting.
The shooting took place when the officers responded to a domestic violence call at the home of Peters in Holiday Hills. Officer Khalia Satkiewicz was hit in the leg while another officer Eric Luna who protected Satkiewicz and Maness was uninjured. He was arrested after a 17-hour manhunt by over 200 police officers while a McHenry County judge raised his bond to $7 million.
Accused charged on multiple counts
Peters has been charged on multiple counts that include six for first-degree attempted murder. Other charges include five counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated battery of a firearm. According to criminal defense attorneys, if convicted, Peters could face a long time in prison of up to 165 years. A 67 year old aunt of Peters, Kathryn Kriepke of Elk Grove Village, was also charged for supplying the firearm to Peters without a firearm owner’s identification card. Authorities believe that the weapon was used in the attack.
Dispute on disability
While Peters may have been charged and possibly faces a long prison sentence, the prosecutors are not amused at his court appearance for a pre-trial hearing in a wheelchair. They contend that Peters is not capable of walking and could possibly garner undue sympathy from the jurors if he appeared at the trial starting April 27th in a wheelchair. According to the chief of the state’s attorney’s criminal division, Michael Combs, there was no reason for Peters to get to pretend to be injured and play a war hero. The pre-trial hearing saw Peters make a wheelchair appearance in front of many uniformed officers.
The Accused, the loser Peters, looks for sympathy (yes, that is an amazing thought)
Peters constantly complained about being mistreated by the authorities. He accused McHenry County officials of being lawless and corrupt, of being entirely against him and also requested that his public defenders be replaced by outside criminal defense attorneys. However, his request was turned down by Judge Sharon Prather and said that his defense attorneys had done a good job.
Prosecution produces evidence
According to prosecutors, Peters was walking fine along Route 176 when he was arrested following the manhunt. Combs backed that up with a letter from the Social Security Administration that rejected Peters’ disability claim. The doctor who treated him for a fall while in jail also confirmed he did not need a wheelchair. Judge Prather who will rule on the wheelchair on April 22nd has also taken precautions to have the jury enter and leave the courtroom if she permits the wheelchair while Peters is seated. The judge has also decided not to permit evidence of any post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of the shooting that Peters may claim to have suffered.
Wheelchair or not, Peters is guilty
Peters’ criminal defense attorneys, have requested that a minimum number of police officers be present during the trial. The three officers have found solid support from fellow officers and have been permitted by the judge to remain in the courtroom after they testify to view the proceedings.