Judge refuses to reduce bail for five charged in attack in Tinley
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org July 11, 2012 12:20PM
Updated: August 13, 2012 1:52PM
A Cook County judge on Wednesday refused to reduce the bails for five Indiana men accused of attacking an alleged white supremacist group in a Tinley Park restaurant in May.
Judge Carmen Aguilar rejected the claims that the five men had deep ties to their communities and were not a threat to the public or flight risks.
Attorneys for brothers Jason Sutherlin, 33, Cody Sutherlin, 23, and Dylan Sutherlin, 20, and for Alex Struck, 22, and John Tucker, 26, previously entered innocent pleas on behalf of the men charged in the May 19 attack at The Ashford House restaurant, 7959 W. 159th St. Each faces 37 counts, including armed violence, mob action and aggravated battery.
While arguing to reduce their bonds, their attorneys portrayed them as hardworking men with jobs and other duties. Aaron Goldstein, representing Jason Sutherlin, described him as his caretaker of his wheelchair-bound father. He also has a job working at a tavern, a 20-month-old son to care for, and he is related to a longtime Indiana commissioner.
Attorneys representing the other men echoed similar sentiments.
In arguing not to allow bail reductions, assistant state’s attorney Karin Swanson said. “This is a serious offense with serious injuries. The video shows the terror they brought on the patrons and employees of the restaurant.”
Swanson played up the criminal histories of the men involved. She said that Dylan Sutherlin was convicted of driving under the influence in 2007; Cody Sutherlin was convicted of misdemeanor endangering a person in 2010; and Jason Sutherlin was convicted of a 1998 burglary.
“There’s no change of circumstances, nothing about the defendants’ backgrounds has changed,” Swanson said.
Police have called the five “anti-racists,” saying they wielded bats and wore masks when they targeted a group calling themselves the Illinois European Heritage Association.
Swanson said that with the help of about 12 other people, the men smashed dishes and overturned tables doing about $15,000 worth of damage to the restaurant. She also claimed that a GPS was found in a car the men rode in that traced their route from Bloomington, Ind., to the restaurant.
Jim Fennerty, the attorney for Cody Sutherlin, said he was disappointed that Aguilar didn’t reduce the bail amounts.
“The bond is extremely high for Cody,” Fennerty said. “They’ve been in jail for several months, and so far from what I’ve seen, there’s nothing alleged that he’s done to keep the bail so high.”