Judge Kelley denies reconsideration of Van Hoose's misdemeanor assault conviction

By Record News | May 1, 2017

St. Clair County associate judge Randall Kelley has denied reconsideration of his judgment finding Brad Van Hoose of Belleville guilty of misdemeanor assault. 

Kelley reached a decision on April 26, and he canceled a hearing that had been scheduled today. 

Van Hoose wanted Kelley to review an order that reduced a felony charge of threatening a public official to simple assault. 

Van Hoose said he found the cancellation online on the night of the 26th. 

He said he went to the courthouse the next day and found Kelley’s order. 

“No jurisdiction over defendant’s pro se motion to reconsider, set aside, or vacate sentence as defendant’s counsel of record remains of record,” Kelley wrote in the order. 

Van Hoose said he received notice in the mail late in th day on Friday, April 28.

Jack Daugherty of Edwardsville represented Van Hoose at trial on Feb. 17. 

No record exists of a motion from Daugherty to withdraw prior to Van Hoose's filing of the reconsideration motion.

Grand jurors indicted Van Hoose in September, finding he shouted at Caseyville mayor Leonard Black across a parking lot.

They found that Van Hoose’s speech related to Black’s official duties, elevating the offense to a felony. 

Van Hoose chose a bench trial over a jury trial. 

Black testified at trial, as did radio voice Bob Romanik and Caseyville police chief Frank Moore. 

Appellate prosecutor David Rands, who took the case after state’s attorney Brendan Kelly moved for a special prosecutor, represented the state. 

At the conclusion of testimony, Kelley ruled that Van Hoose did not commit a felony because his speech did not relate to Black’s official duties. 

However, Kelley found Van Hoose guilty of assault, and he imposed a $250 fine with a year of court supervision. 

Van Hoose moved for reconsideration on March 15. 

He began the motion with a statement that he received notice of Daugherty’s withdrawal and would proceed as his own counsel. 

In his motion, Van Hoose wrote that Kelley failed to disclose that he once represented Romanik. 

Disclosure of prior representation “would have let us make an informed decision to take a change of judge,” he wrote. 

An earlier denial of a protective order sought by Black through a different judge precluded his prosecution, he wrote. 

Van Hoose further wrote that he was found guilty of an uncharged crime, but by not informing the defense that he would consider lesser offenses, Kelley interfered with the defense’s ability to proceed with a cogent strategy. 

He wrote that there are no overlapping elements between threatening a public official and misdemeanor assault. 

His conviction violated his right of free speech, he wrote, and requested the first available hearing. 

He signed the motion and wrote “Pro Se,” again, below the signature.    

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Illinois State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Illinois

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