Judge Suppresses Evidence Against Accused Cop

John Ardlean is charged with DUI and reckless homicide

By Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010  |  Updated 4:51 PM CDT
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Antonio Flores says the trial against a Chicago police officer accused of DUI and reckless homicide was just a ruse.

Antonio Flores says the trial against a Chicago police officer accused of DUI and reckless homicide was just a ruse.

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The case against Chicago police officer John Ardelean, who is charged with driving drunk and crashing into and killing two men, got a lot more difficult to prove.

A Cook County Judge on Tuesday granted a defense motion to throw out evidence relating to his 2007 arrest.

"There was no conspiracy to protect this defendant by rogue officers acting without regard to their oath to protect the citizens of our community in favor of a fellow officer who was in the wrong," Judge Thomas Gainer Jr. wrote in his opinion.

Ardelean was charged with four counts of aggravated DUI and two counts of reckless homicide after a supervisor said Ardelean smelled of alcohol when he saw him roughly two hours the crash that killed killed 22-year-old Miguel Flores and 21-year-old Erick Lagunas.

But Gainer on Tuesday said that supervisor -- Lt. John Magruder -- was not a credible witness.

After the suppression ruling, family members and friends of the deceased cried out and rushed the courtroom. Three women were arrested.

"This has been two years and we feel like nobody is listening to us.  People are treating us like we are ignorant," said Erick Lagunas' cousin, Mayra Lagunas, after the ruling.

The ruling deals a huge blow to prosecutors who will have to consider whether to move forward with the case.

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