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Yorkville

Judge acquits mother, son arrested by Yorkville officers under investigation

A Kendall County judge acquitted a Yorkville mother and son Wednesday of charges stemming from an arrest last year that is now the subject of an ongoing investigation into the involved officers' conduct.

Judge Stephen Krentz found Tad Johnson not guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting a peace officer and Charlene Johnson not guilty of resisting a peace officer during a brief bench trial Wednesday afternoon, July 11, at the Kendall County Courthouse in Yorkville.

Assistant State's Attorney Ryan Phelps was the prosecutor in the case while defense attorney Liam Dixon represented the Johnsons.

Krentz ruled in March that all evidence from the arrest be suppressed at trial, citing the officers' behavior during the Johnsons' arrest on Sept. 14, 2017. Yorkville Police Sgt. Sarah Klingel and officers Jeffrey Johnson and Christopher Hayes responded to the call that day.

“Rather than attempting to diffuse the situation, the officers on the scene in the present case chose to escalate the conflict by insulting and taunting a person who was obviously experiencing emotional distress,” Krentz wrote in the March ruling. “The video recording reveals the officers trying to goad him into committing acts of violence by challenging him to come out of the residence to fight. Inexplicably, one officer even challenged him to take his own life.”

After the Wednesday trial, Dixon said Krentz's decision to suppress the evidence was a key element to his ruling.

"The police officers stopped acting in their authorized capacity when they were trying to break down my clients' door," Dixon said.

Police Chief Rich Hart has declined to comment on the record about the progress of the ongoing internal investigation into the conduct of the responding officers at the scene in 2017.

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