"One Last Chance" Equals Death
- Judge Thomas Fecarotta Jr. didn't know if he could believe the teen standing in his courtroom anymore.
He'd given Mathew Nellessen, who was back in court because of a probation violation, chance after chance, and the judge's frustration seemed to be bubbling to the top.
"The public is going to say what is with this crazy judge, he got a kid that he gave a break to," the Cook County Circuit Court judge said at a hearing in March, according to transcripts.
Even Nellessen's public defender and the prosecutor had agreed to four years in prison. But Fecarotta opted to give Nellessen one last chance: He credited the 19-year-old Arlington Heights man with time served, released him from custody and recommitted him to probation.
Less than a month after his release, prosecutors say Nellessen murdered his father.
Not just murdered, but slaughtered him with a baseball bat and a steak knife after making him sign over a check for $100,000 from his retirement funds. How could anyone not see this one coming? And what consequence is laid at the feet of the judge? We don't think he's civilly liable. The state's attorneys? Nope, not them either. The system is broken and no fix is forthcoming.
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