Jurors Acquit Lawyer Charged with Felony for Allowing Suspect to Use Her Cellphone
Posted Nov 30, 2012 7:51 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Jurors on Thursday acquitted a Chicago lawyer charged with a felony for allowing a murder suspect to use her cellphone in an interrogation room.
Cook County jurors deliberated less than three hours before acquitting Sladjana Vuckovic, the Chicago Tribune reports. Vuckovic was a lawyer with the Chicago Transit Authority at the time and was representing the suspect as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. She currently works for the Loevy & Loevy law firm, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Juror Deirdre Head told the Sun-Times that jurors all seemed to agree that Vuckovic wasn’t aware she was breaking the law that prohibited bringing contraband to a penal institution.
Vuckovic had testified she was vaguely aware of the contraband law, but she thought it barred "knives, guns, drugs,” according to the Tribune account. She also said she didn’t consider an interrogation room to be a penal institution.
Testifying on her behalf was former U.S. Attorney Thomas Sullivan, the Sun-Times says. Sullivan said he didn’t think it was a crime to bring a cellphone in an interrogation room. He testified that he had once given his nephew a cellphone in an interrogation room to call his mother after an arrest.