ATTORNEY DAN HERBERT WINS ACQUITTAL FOR STATE TROOPER IN SHOOTING CASE
Chicago, June 23, 2016– Chicago defense attorney Dan Herbert won a felony acquittal for an Illinois State trooper accused of firing six gunshots into his former girlfriend’s home last year. Herbert argued that Juan Lopez thought a crime was being committed at the time and that the woman was in danger and that is why he took the action he did.
Cook County Judge James Linn found Lopez not guilty of seven felony charges including four counts of home invasion and three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm yesterday in a bench trial. If Lopez had been convicted, he would have faced a minimum of 26 years in prison. Judge Linn found Lopez guilty of misdemeanor reckless conduct and sentenced him to court supervision.
“It is a significant victory considering the anti-police rhetoric which has been so prevalent and we are grateful to Judge Linn for basing his ruling on the evidence in the case and not outside pressures,” said attorney Dan Herbert. “Jose Lopez believed that a crime was occurring and acted based upon that belief. Lopez’s belief turned out to be wrong but it was not unreasonable for him to have believed what he did and acted accordingly.”
Lopez fired six shots into his former girlfriend’s home last year after arriving there and mistakenly thinking a crime was in progress. Lopez testified he saw a car in the driveway he did not recognize, a damaged front door, heard a woman screaming and a saw a man he did not know though the bedroom window. He fired shots into the house and then went inside because he thought his former girlfriend was being attacked.
Once inside, Lopez learned the man was also a state trooper and a friend of his former girlfriend’s. The front door was damaged because the home had been burglarized a few days before. No one was hurt in the incident and Lopez waited at the home for police to arrive.
“Lopez is a state trooper with no prior discipline problems,” said Herbert. “He hopes he can return to the job he loves soon.”
Lopez has been on administrative leave since the being charged in the case in April of 2015.