Stories by Matt Masterson

Felonies, Pleas and Convictions Examined in New Cook County Report

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 11, 2017.

A first-of-its-kind report released Tuesday by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office details more than 30,000 felony cases presented for prosecution in 2016.

Chicago Law Firm Retained by Las Vegas Shooting Victims

(Credit: @CNN / Twitter)

Romanucci & Blandin, a civil practice based in the River North neighborhood, announced Monday it is among a trio of law firms that will represent victims of the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas.

Chicago Police Ramping Up Rollout of Largest Body Camera Program in US

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

By the end of this year, the Chicago Police Department believes it will have the nation’s largest collection of officer-worn body cameras in use.

DOJ to Chicago: Drop ‘Sanctuary City’ Laws or Lose Federal Funding

(Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons)

The Department of Justice issued a “last chance” warning to Chicago, Cook County and others to get in compliance with federal laws or risk losing grant dollars.

Attorneys: IDOC Inmate Psychiatric Care in ‘State of Emergency’

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Thousands of Illinois inmates are asking a federal judge to take action and help resolve a “human rights disaster” they say is taking place inside state prisons.

CPD: Man Who Pushed Stranger onto CTA Tracks Faces Attempted Murder Charge

(Chicago Police Department)

Chicago Police have arrested a man they say pushed a stranger onto the tracks at the Washington Blue Line station in early August.

Illinois Congressmen Call for Gun Reform at ‘Reject the NRA’ Rally

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Local progressives and elected officials say the time is now to talk gun reform following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

TMZ: Las Vegas Gunman Booked Rooms Overlooking Lollapalooza

(EMR / Flickr)

Stephen Paddock, the gunman who opened fire on thousands of concertgoers in Las Vegas late Sunday night, had booked two rooms in Chicago overlooking Grant Park in August, during Lollapalooza, according to a report from TMZ.

Prosecutors Could Seek Death Penalty for U. of I. Kidnapping Suspect

Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff's Department)

A new charge against 28-year-old suspect Brendt Christensen opens up the possibility of the death penalty for the Champaign man charged in the disappearance and murder of a Chinese student.

Eyewitness: Las Vegas Shooter ‘Wanted to Do as Much Damage as Possible’

(Credit: @CNN / Twitter)

An eyewitness recounts what she saw in Las Vegas on Sunday night during what has become the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

What Leads to False Confessions? ‘Making a Murderer’ Attorneys Weigh In

Steven Drizin appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 24, 2016.

Attorneys for Brendan Dassey discuss interrogation techniques and environmental factors that can leave a suspect feeling like they have no choice but to confess – even if they’re innocent.

Ex-Northwestern, Oxford Employees Enter Not Guilty Pleas in Fatal Stabbing

Wyndham Lathem stands with his attorneys in Cook County Circuit Court on Thursday. (Courtroom sketch by Thomas Gianni)

Two former university employees charged in the brutal stabbing death of a Chicago hairstylist earlier this summer have pleaded not guilty to a half-dozen murder charges levied against them.

Criminologist: Suspects in Stabbing Case Don’t Match Typical Profile

(Chicago Police Department)

“Everything is unusual about this case until we hear more,” a Loyola University Chicago criminal justice professor said regarding Wyndham Lathem and Andrew Warren – two former university employees accused in the stabbing death of a Chicago hairstylist.

FBI: Violent Crime Rates Rise Again, Due in Part to Chicago Homicides

The number of homicides in the U.S. increased about 8 percent between 2015 and 2016, new data from the FBI shows. Chicago was responsible for more than 20 percent of the jump.

Is Chicago Really the ‘False Confession Capital’?

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

According to data from the National Registry of Exonerations, Illinois has a false confession rate more than three times higher than the national average. Is there “a culture in Chicago of solving cases by confession?”

How Dana Holland Became the Country’s First Double Exoneree

More than 2,000 exoneration cases are on record in the U.S., according to the National Registry of Exonerations. Only a handful of people appear on that list twice, and one of them is Chicago native Dana Holland.

CTU Calls on Emanuel to Fire Claypool After Leaked Watchdog Report

Calls for the ouster of CPS CEO Forrest Claypool and General Counsel Ronald Marmer come on the heels of a leaked report alleging Marmer violated the district’s ethics code.

Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Drew Peterson Murder Conviction

The former Bolingbrook police officer had appealed his conviction in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Former Northwestern Professor Facing Arraignment in ‘Shocking’ Murder Case

(Chicago Police Department)

Wyndham Lathem and Andrew Warren each face six counts of first-degree murder in the July stabbing death of a 26-year-old man inside Lathem’s River North home.

PARCC Results Stable, Exam Likely Sticking Around

On top of announcing its 2017 PARCC results, the Illinois State Board of Education says it plans to stick with the exam that critics have called confusing and unreliable.

15 Men Seek Exoneration in Lawsuit Claiming Chicago Police Corruption

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

More than a dozen residents of the former Ida B. Wells housing project say they were framed and intimidated by a former Chicago Police Department sergeant. Now they are seeking to have their convictions overturned.

CPS Watchdog: School In Cook County Jail Falsified Attendance, Credit Rates

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

A new report from Chicago Public Schools’ legal watchdog states an alternative high school located within the Cook County Jail has been falsifying its enrollment and graduation numbers for years.

Illinois Education Secretary Beth Purvis Stepping Down

Just days after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a new education funding formula into law, his handpicked education chief announced her departure.

CPS Says Record Number of Grads Earn College, Career Credentials

A week after announcing a record-high graduation rate among students last year, Chicago Public Schools said Monday that more of those students are ready for college than ever before.

Board of Education Sued Over Sexual Abuse Claims Against Former Mentor

(Chicago Tonight)

A former CPS student says he was sexually abused by the head of a district mentoring program from 1988 until 1993. “I feel like it’s time for me to tell my story,” he said.