Thursday, August 13, 2009
Grand jury has Kane case
By Roman Modrowski
The case of Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, 20, and his cousin James, 21, who are accused of robbing a cab driver during the early morning hours of Sunday in Buffalo, N.Y., has been presented to a grand jury in Erie County, N.Y.
The results are expected next week.
Attorney Andrew LoTempio represents the cab driver, Jan Radecki, 62, and both were in the courtroom during the grand jury proceedings.
"It's my estimation that what probably will happen -- and should happen -- is the charges will remain in the local criminal court as misdemeanors, probably an assault-third charge, which is a misdemeanor," LoTempio said on the "Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000. "And probably a theft of services charge, and that's in relation to the cab fare.
"My client is not interested in getting a pound of flesh or seeing anybody be punished or ruining anybody's career. More or less, he's interested in doing what he does for a living and being left alone.
"So we're trying to get the case charged appropriately and treat it as though it were any other case, which would mean it would go back to the local court and some plea bargaining would be entered into and they'd ask my client if he was OK with the disposition and some settlement would be reached as far as disposing of the case as far as a plea .. and whatever the punishment may be."
The Kanes were charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor counts of theft and criminal mischief. The altercation apparently erupted after Radecki would not allow James Kane to get out of the cab to get his money to pay the $13.80 fare. Patrick Kane's attorney, Paul Cambria, said it was James Kane who was involved in the financial transaction. Patrick Kane has pleaded not guilty.
Cab drivers sometimes lock the doors to ensure they get paid.
"As far as I can see, [the locked doors] may have precipitated some of what happened here," LoTempio said. "But I don't think it's an ultimate defense for the case. I think it does play a role, and my client from the get-go has accepted his responsibility for his role in perhaps precipitating some of it. The reaction might have been wrong. We'll get to the end of it.
"I think they're not going to charge a felony and turn it back to the local courts," LoTempio added.
The grand jury's recommendation, which could be either to bring charges, reduce charges or drop the charges, is expected Wednesday or Thursday.
"The presentation of evidence was made before the county grand jury, and the result of that investigation will be given to the Superior Court judge who convened the grand jury next week," Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III said. "All cases go into the grand jury, and once a week they report out what the results are. That usually happens on Wednesday or Thursday."