The trial of Melodie Gliniewicz, widow of the disgraced former Fox Lake Police Lieutenant who faked his own murder two years ago, has been put on hold, likely until next year.
Gliniewicz faces a raft of charges including money laundering, conspiracy, and misuse of charitable funds, for the role prosecutors say she played along with her husband, Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz, in the embezzlement and use of money from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post.
Investigators say her late husband killed himself as he feared investigators were about to uncover the scandal. Gliniewicz staged an elaborate ruse to make it appear he had been murdered, an event which sparked a massive manhunt in Lake County.
Monday morning, the state filed a motion known as a “certificate of impairment”, stating that Judge James Booras’ recent ruling that text messages and emails between Gliniewicz and her husband were inadmissible, “substantially impairs the People’s ability to prosecute” the case.
Booras ruled the various electronic messages between the two were inadmissible due to legal protections known as "marital privilege". Prosecutors had hoped to use those messages to show Mrs. Gliniewicz's complicity in the scheme.
The proceedings will now stop indefinitely, as Lake County prosecutors appeal the judge’s ruling to the Illinois Appellate Court. The case was go to trial July 3. The judge's decision was a key victory for Gliniewicz, who faces 7 years in prison if convicted.
The matter is now set for a status hearing November 27, but it is clear that if it does go to trial, that would likely happen sometime in 2018.
As he set that date during a brief hearing Monday morning, Judge Booras reminded the lawyers that the controversial and sensational matter remains on his docket.
"The court doesn't have jurisdiction about one issue, and one issue alone," he said. Then he adjourned the proceeding with a hope that all parties "have a nice summer."