Mike Jones Gets No Relief

Gretchen Gallen
WOODSTOCK, Ill. – The Mike Jones legal team had a court status call early this morning, the results of which signal that the case could drag on for another several years, Chicago attorney J.D. Obenberger told XBiz.

Former CDBabes owners Mike Jones was indicted on obscenity and child pornography charges in 2001 after having his home and offices raided by Illinois police.

Today's court date is the follow-up to a motion granted by Judge Judith Prather to grant the state's attorney, Dan Regna, until April 20 to appeal her rejection of the prosecution's request to reconsider the suppression of evidence from the original search and seizure of Jones' home.

Prather had originally ordered all evidence that resulted from the raid on Jones' home suppressed because the search warrant used at the time was "overly broad."

According to Obenberger, the prosecution filed its appeal early this week with such short notice that the defense was unaware of the filing. The prosecution's decision to appeal could mean that the case could continue on for a maximum of five years, with a possible final destination in the U.S. Supreme Court.

"We're in this for a much, much longer haul at this point," Obenberger said. "Mike Jones isn't guilty and he certainly isn't guilty of child porn. In my view there isn't even a question."

According to Obenberger, the case is what is considered an interlocutory appeal, which is an appeal that goes to a higher court while remaining in the hands of a lower court.

From this point on, the prosecution will have order all court reporter transcripts and they have 14 days to file a notice of appeal in the trial court in the Illinois appellate court. They must also supply a docketing statement that describes what type of case it is.

The appellate court will then set a scheduling order by which the state files its briefing, Obenberger files a response, and then the prosecution files a reply.

According to Obenberger, if the prosecution files for oral arguments, that could take another three months to resolve, and then another six months before a ruling.

"If they win the appeal, then we go back in front of the trial court and face trial on charges child porn and obscenity," Obenberger said.

From then on, it's a question of time before the case ends up in the lap of the Illinois Supreme Court, and then possibly the U.S. Supreme Court, which according to Obenberger was exactly where he figured it would end up since the first day he took the case.

Obenberger also asked the judge to withdraw the deposit bond that Jones has been out on since the case started in 2001, and replace it with a $50,00 individual recognizance bond. The prosecution objected to the request, but Prather granted the defense's request.

The next court hearing on the matter is set for May 26.