Joliet Outlaws culture will be at the center of Jeremy Boshears trial

JOLIET, IL – Joliet criminal defense attorney Chuck Bretz plans to call an expert witness to testify about the Joliet Outlaws Motorcycle Club and its culture in the upcoming first-degree murder trial of his client, Jeremy Boshears .

The trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 31 in Will County Judge Dave Carlson’s Courtroom 405.

Boshears has been in the Will County Jail since Nov. 18, 2017, and his bond is $10 million. The Will County Sheriff’s Office believes Boshears fatally shot bartender Katie Kearns, 24, inside the Joliet Outlaws clubhouse in the early morning hours of November 13, 2017.

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Days after her disappearance, Kearns’ body was found in the back of her Jeep Wrangler, wrapped in a tarp and mattress, about 60 miles from Joliet in a rural part of Kankakee County.

She died from a bullet to the head.

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Bretz insisted that Boshears did not shoot Kearns.

Another forensic expert hired by Bretz, retired Oak Park Police Department detective Arthur Borchers, concluded that Kearns committed suicide, putting the gun to her head inside the clubhouse of the Joliet Outlaws, located in the Ingalls Park area on the east side of Joliet.

“Law enforcement searched the building. Deputies located a bullet-sized hole in the ceiling. They entered the building area and found a bullet ricochet mark on a rafter. A search revealed a spent bullet among the ceiling rafters and insulation,” Boshears’ attorneys argued in a court filing on April 5, 2018.

This week, Bretz revealed plans to introduce expert defense witness testimony from Ed Jauch, a retired law enforcement officer and expert on the motorcycle club subculture.

Jauch lives in Spring Valley.

“Mr. Jauch has expertise as an accomplished undercover agent, deputized by the FBI and US Marshal, and is an expert in the subculture of motorcycle clubs and other similar organizations, and in particular the the culture of the Joliet Outlaws Motorcycle Club, including but not limited to the rules that governed membership in these organizations,” Bretz told court officials.

On Thursday, Bretz told Joliet Patch that the defense would be allowed to present evidence regarding Kearns’ mental health before his death.

Katie Kearns, a 24-year-old Mokena resident, worked at Woody’s in Joliet. File image via Will County Sheriff’s Office

“We’re not doing this to attack him in any way or disrespect him,” Bretz explained. “She was in mental health treatment for almost two years for psychological issues.”

About three weeks before her death, Kearns had been treated at Silver Cross Hospital after cutting her wrists, Bretz said.

Bretz said at least one member of the Will County Sheriff’s Office questioned why Kearns’ body was moved if Kearns had shot himself in the Joliet Outlaws Clubhouse.

Bretz said it’s important for everyone to remember that this didn’t happen inside the Knights of Columbus or Moose Lodge.

The idea that Joliet Outlaws members would call the police if someone died unexpectedly on their property doesn’t make sense, according to Bretz.

“It’s not a social club,” Bretz said.

Bretz thinks the testimony of his two expert witnesses can help show that his client is not guilty of murder.

“These guys are both law enforcement,” Bretz remarked Thursday. “They’re both former police officers. We didn’t try to find defense-oriented experts.”

At a preliminary hearing this week, Bretz told the judge and three assistant Will County attorneys that he did not have to prove whether Kearns intended to kill himself in order to prove his client’s innocence. .

“I don’t think it really matters if she intended to pull the trigger,” Bretz told Judge Carlson this week in court.

Nonetheless, before her death, Kearns said she was depressed, suffering from anxiety disorders, panic attacks and mood swings, Bretz pointed out. The fact that she underwent treatment at Silver Cross Hospital for cut wrists three weeks before she died of a gunshot further illustrates that she had “unhealthy thought processes”, Bretz said this week. .

Joliet criminal defense attorney Chuck Bretz insisted Jeremy Boshears did not shoot Katie Kearns. File image via Bretz Law Offices

Bretz said it’s also possible the drama unfolded and Kearns shot, without necessarily intending to end his life.

Joliet Patch previously reported that Katie Kearns’ toxicology results showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.212. Toxicology also showed positive results for Xanax, oxcarbazepine, Citalopram, cocaine and cocaine metabolites. Kearns, who lived in rural Mokena, worked part-time at Woody’s Bar on East Washington Street, a Joliet bar that caters to bikers.

“We don’t have to prove his intent to commit suicide,” Bretz said Thursday.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office said Kearns and Boshears had been romantically involved in the weeks leading up to his death. Boshears grew up in the Ingalls Park neighborhood on the east side of Joliet. At the time of his arrest, he and his family were living in Coal City.

At the time of his arrest in 2017, Boshears worked for S&J Door in Frankfurt.

Now 36, Boshears had no criminal record other than trivial traffic offenses when he was arrested for first-degree murder. Boshears was also charged with concealing a death by homicide.

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