Buck Judge Stays on Case

By: Jason Lanning
By: Jason Lanning

The William Buck murder trial was originally set to start in early September, but it won't go in front of a jury now until late October.

The defense and state have been battling over which judge will hear the case.

Judge McGraw is the sixth judge to sit on the bench in the pre-trial, after a motion is denied to have him removed.

Attorney's representing William Buck argued an interview Judge McGraw did with 23 News last year made him biased in the case. The interview was conducted the same day Buck was arraigned.

McGraw, still an attorney at the time, talked to us about the death penalty. Judge Peterson denied the defense's motion to have Judge McGraw removed from the case because of the interview.

"It is appropriate, whenever you have a police officer killed, the state's attorney should review the material and make the determination. It sends a message that the state's attorney is working the police department to make sure crimes like this don't happen."

Peterson said, the interview does not impair Judge McGraw’s ability to oversee the trial.

There are a number of potential problems as the pre-trial continues, McGraw is the sixth judge to oversee the pre-trial. For that reason, the defense is asking McGraw to sign an affidavit concerning his past encounters with William Buck and any of the witnesses in the case. Also, under Supreme Court rules, Judge McGraw must attend a capital litigation seminar before he can oversee a death penalty case. McGraw is set to attend that seminar in September.

And prosecutors have asked for William Buck to consider waiving his rights to counsel.
Buck spoke out in court again Monday afternoon, saying his attorney's are not keeping him updated on critical trial information

Judge McGraw has set the murder trial to start on Oct. 28; it will start with jury selection in Lake County.

Those jurors selected in lake will then be bused back and forth to Winnebago County for the murder trial. The pre-trial continues on Aug. 20.


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