QUINCY — The cases for Bradley Yohn and Karen Blackledge remain on the March 7 jury docket, though DNA and fingerprint evidence yet to arrive from the state crime lab could potentially delay their jury trials.
Blackledge and Yohn both made appearances in Adams County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning. When Judge Amy Lannerd asked Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County State’s Attorney’s office, during an appearances for both Blackledge and Yohn if he was ready for trial. Jones said yes each time.
“However, there are numerous pieces of physical evidence that are still in the lab,” Jones said during Yohn’s appearance. “We’re awaiting DNA testing on that. We’ve talked to the lab and tried to put a rush on that, understanding the limit to what we can do with the lab as far as rushing tests or moving them up in the queue.”
Jones noted he’s waiting on fingerprint evidence and DNA evidence in the Blackledge case.
Public Defender Christopher Pratt, who is representing Blackledge, told Lannerd he’s ready for trial, but he asked that plea negotiations remain open.
A status hearing for Yohn was set for Feb. 22. Pre-trial hearings for both Blackledge and Yohn were set for Feb. 25.
As Lannerd was confirming the dates with Jones and Public Defender John Citro for Yohn’s future appearances, Yohn raised his hand and interrupted, saying, “Your honor, can I ask a question?”
Lannerd completed confirmation of the dates, then said, “Mr. Yohn appears to want to address the court directly, but he has the right to remain silent. So I’m going to give him a moment off the record with his attorney before he addresses the court.”
After Citro had a brief conversation with Yohn, Lannerd asked, “Is there anything that you need to address at this time?” Citro replied, “Nothing, your honor.”
Yohn then said, “I just wanted to make sure my right to a 120-day (speedy trial) was good, your honor.”
Lannerd replied, “Mr. Yohn, you can discuss those matters with your attorney.”
Moments later as Yohn’s appearance wrapped up, a man spoke up from the back of the courtroom.
“Your honor, I have a question,” he blurted.
Lannerd replied, “Sir, I don’t know who you are.”
“I’m Travis Bloom. I’m Bradley Yohn’s cousin,” he said. “I need to know who I can talk to, ma’am. They’re taking his money I’m sending him. None of his letters are making it home. They’re in there mistreating him.”
Lannerd told Bloom she would not address the matter and suggested he take his issues to the Adams County Sheriff’s Department.
“Thank you. That’s where I’m going,” Bloom said.
As bailiff Chad Downs escorted him from the courtroom, Bloom said, “You all are crooks. You’re taking his money. You’re beating him.”
Blackledge has pleaded not guilty to two counts of home invasion, one count of aggravated kidnapping, one count of aggravated vehicular hijacking, one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, all Class X felonies, and residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, for her involvement in a November incident in Adams County.
If convicted on the charges for home invasion, kidnapping and vehicular hijacking, Blackledge faces prison sentences of between six and 30 years on each charge. She must serve 50 percent of those sentences according to Illinois’ truth in sentencing laws. If convicted of the criminal sexual assault charge, Blackledge faces a prison sentence of between 16 and 40 years. She would have to serve 85 percent of the sentence for this charge. If convicted of the residential burglary charge, Blackledge also faces a prison sentence of between six and 30 years because of previous convictions.
Yohn has been charged with two counts of home invasion, and one count each of aggravated kidnapping (allegedly using a knife) and aggravated vehicular hijacking— all Class X felonies punishable for between six to 30 years in prison — for his involvement in a November incident in Adams County. He also was charged with residential burglary, a Class 1 felony punishable for between four and 15 years in prison.
He also was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault for knowingly committing the act of sexual penetration through the use of force — a Class X felony punishable for between 16 and 40 years in prison.
Yohn faces four counts in connection with an incident on Oct. 15 at 828 1/2 York. He has been charged with one count of residential burglary, a Class 1 felony punishable for between four and 15 years in prison; two counts of theft or unauthorized control of property over $500 but under $10,000, a Class 3 felony punishable for between two and 10 years in prison; and one count of criminal sexual abuse, a Class 4 felony punishable for between one and three years in prison.
Yohn also has been charged with one count of vehicular hijacking, a Class X felony punishable for between six to 30 years, after allegedly taking a motor vehicle from a woman on Oct. 31.
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