Crime & Courts

Jury finds former Hebron village president not guilty of possessing firearm

John Jacobson
John Jacobson

A jury on Tuesday found former Hebron village president John Jacobson not guilty of illegally keeping a shotgun at his home the night police said Jacobson was passed out on the floor after a night of smoking crack cocaine.

Jacobson originally was charged in 2016 with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owner's Identification card and possession of ammunition without a FOID card.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather previously dismissed the drug possession charge after Jacobson's attorneys argued that police wrongfully searched Jacobson's home. The former village president was immune to prosecution of drug possession charges because police were there to respond for a medical emergency, the judge ruled.

More charges were dismissed before jury selection began on Monday.

That morning, Jacobson pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and prosecutors dismissed two misdemeanor charges of possession of ammunition with out a FOID card.

After one day of testimony on the most serious charge, possession of a firearm without a FOID card, a jury determined Jacobson was not guilty.

He is scheduled for sentencing June 18 on a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jacobson could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

The jury's verdict came more than three years after police were called to Jacobson’s Hebron home on May 17, 2016.

There they found Jacobson taking shallow breaths while lying on the master bathroom floor in only his underwear, according to police reports. Emergency responders took Jacobson to the hospital, and he later was released.

While inside Jacobson’s home, an officer reported seeing in plain view what appeared to be a used crack pipe, an unmarked orange pill bottle containing suspected crack rocks and a pornographic DVD sitting in the open tray of a DVD player in the next room, according to police reports.

A woman who was with Jacobson at the time, Jeanna Rosing, told officers that he had been drinking and slipped away into his room to smoke crack, police reports stated.

The two played a game of strip Rummy, and the woman said Jacobson intentionally turned up the heat in the house so she would want to take off her clothes.

Jacobson's arrest sparked public outcries for his resignation. After refusing to step down, Jacobson lost his village seat in 2017 to Kimberly Martinez.

The 72-year-old had previous run-ins with police. Jacobson faced drug charges during his 2013 campaign after police said they found crack cocaine in his vehicle during a traffic stop. After winning the election, Jacobson pleaded guilty to those charges and kept his seat in office, but in October 2013, he was charged with driving under the influence in Wisconsin.

He finished his probationary sentence in July 2014.

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