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Crime & Courts

Prosecutors ask judge to reconsider ruling on emails, texts between Melodie, Joe Gliniewicz at trial

Joe Shuman for Shaw Media
Melodie Gliniewicz arrives at the Lake County courthouse May 11 surrounded by her legal team in Waukegan.
Joe Shuman for Shaw Media Melodie Gliniewicz arrives at the Lake County courthouse May 11 surrounded by her legal team in Waukegan.

Lake County prosecutors are asking a judge to reconsider his ruling earlier this month that would not allow text messages and emails between Melodie Gliniewicz and her late husband to be introduced at trial due to protections under marital privilege laws.

Late last week Judge James Booras scheduled a hearing on two motions for June 19 – one on a motion to reconsider his prior ruling and another for the continuation of an ongoing hearing on the defense’s motion to dismiss charges against Melodie Gliniewicz.

A preliminary trial date also was set for July 3.

Melodie Gliniewicz faces felony charges of money laundering, conspiracy and misusing charitable funds after Lake County authorities said she played a role in laundering money and using more than $10,000 worth of charitable funds from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post 300 for her own personal benefit. Her late husband ran the nonprofit program for youth interested in policing.

Prosecutors charged Melodie Gliniewicz about three months after Lake County Major Crimes Task Force investigators announced Joseph Gliniewicz shot himself. Investigators said Joseph Gliniewicz, fearing that his years of embezzlement would be discovered, staged his September 2015 suicide to look like a homicide. Melodie Gliniewicz faces up to seven years in prison, if convicted.

Melodie Gliniewicz’s attorney, Donald Morrison, had asked the judge to keep prosecutors from using any communication between the couple at trial. Morrison argued the statements would be protected by spousal privilege.

Booras said on May 11 that text messages or emails between the couple were protected by spousal privilege and could not be used against her. He said the marital privilege law in Illinois does not provide an exception for suspected joint criminal activity, as compared with other courts across the country.

Prosecutors previously argued that all statements should be admissible because they are not direct testimony. Communications between the couple were found after authorities searched their home, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Turk has said.

Melodie Gliniewicz’s lawyers have continued to argue that their client is being prosecuted for Joe Gliniewicz’s actions and believe the charges should be dismissed on constitutional grounds.

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