Local

Judge rejects new trial request for Holiday Hills shooter

Scott B. Peters
Scott B. Peters

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County judge who presided over the criminal proceedings for Scott B. Peters rejected Peters’ request for a new trial.

Peters, 52, was convicted on 15 counts against him, including seven for attempted murder of a police officer.

Jurors found Peters guilty of firing more than a dozen rounds through the front door of his Holiday Hills home at McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputies Dwight Maness and Khalia Satkiewicz.

The deputies were responding to a domestic disturbance call. Testimony revealed Peters’ wife and daughter were home at the time.

Peters also was convicted of attempted murder for a shootout with Deputy Eric Luna.

At trial, Luna said as Peters fired, the defendant yelled, “I’m a U.S. Army paratrooper. I hope you’re ready to die today because I am.”

Peters is scheduled to be sentenced June 25.

Peters’ attorney, Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos, argued at trial that prosecutors didn’t fully prove Peters knowingly fired at Luna. There were no bullet holes on the vehicles in the driveway that Luna said he was standing behind and returning fire.

A juror later told the Northwest Herald that was the issue with which they were waffling during their two-hour deliberation. Eventually it was testimony from Maness and Satkiewicz that swayed the vote, the juror said.

Without giving a reason, Prather on Wednesday rejected Mourelatos’ request for a new trial. Her decision came as no surprise to attorneys. The court filing is largely a formality that sets the stage for an appeal.

In the court motion, Mourelatos said Prather erred when she did not grant a special prosecutor after a potential witness was disclosed.

The witness, William Leistritz, who also is in custody at the McHenry County Jail, never was called to testify, but was interviewed by sheriff’s deputies and disclosed as a potential witness for the state.

Leistritz and Peters both were represented by the public defender’s office, but Prather found there to be no conflict.

She also was mistaken in continuing Peters’ trial in his absence after he appeared before her complaining of pain and demanding medical help, Mourelatos said in the court documents.

Prather said Peters was “faking” after staff at the jail testified there was no medical reason for him to be in pain.

The motion also said Prather should have allowed testimony from Dr. Robert Meyer, who said Peters was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The judge barred any testimony from Meyer relating to that diagnosis.

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