Woman Escapes from Police Custody at Markham Courthouse
Earlier this month, a woman escaped from custody while awaiting her preliminary hearing at the Markham courthouse. According to news reports, the woman has not yet been discovered. Escapees and those who assist them can face serious criminal penalties.
Vivian McGee, 31, had been arrested on Friday, December 2. She was charged with retail theft for allegedly shoplifting from a drug store, and for driving under the influence. After she was arrested, police discovered that she was the target of two outstanding warrants after she had failed to appear in court on two other cases, one of which was also based on an alleged incident of retail theft. She was held in jail on a $10,000 bond.
McGee was taken to the Markham courthouse for her preliminary hearing on Tuesday afternoon. While waiting for the hearing to begin, she was handcuffed to a metal railing in the second floor attorney/client conference room. McGee was allegedly left alone in the conference room for a brief period, during which time she managed to escape from her handcuffs and leave the room. Markham courthouse was put on lockdown for 45 minutes after courtroom staff discovered that the woman was missing. The Cook County Sheriff’s Department sent its fugitive apprehension unit to the courthouse to assist in looking for the woman, but they were unable to find her. McGee was wearing dark blue Cook County Jail-issued clothing when she escaped. As of the following day, police had still not found her, but a sheriff’s department representative asserted that they were “following up on some promising leads.”
Escaping from jail or helping another person escape comes with serious consequences. An individual who was being held on felony charges who escapes from custody can face Class 2 felony charges, in addition to the charges they were already facing. If the initial arrest was on a misdemeanor charge, then the charges for escaping custody will also be at the misdemeanor level. Helping someone escape carries equally serious penalties. An individual who knowingly helps someone charged with or convicted of a felony escape custody can also face Class 2 felony charges. Rather than trying to escape from custody, or putting your friends or loved ones in a position of facing charges of their own for helping you, find a criminal defense attorney you trust to help you beat your case fairly.
If you have been charged with a crime and summoned before the Markham or Bridgeview courthouse, contact the dedicated and determined Homewood criminal defense attorney John Fairman for a consultation at 708-799-4848, with additional offices in Bridgeview at 708-960-4806.