Judge Lashes Out At Victim’s Dad After Remark

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (CBS) — A Kane County judge Thursday met an outburst in his courtroom with a contempt citation — and an outburst of his own.

Someone who was in Judge Timothy Sheldon’s courtroom Thursday told WBBM Newsradio that he has never seen anything like it — especially a tirade by a judge directed toward the parents of a teenager who died in a DUI crash.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

WBBM Newsradio is told that when Judge Sheldon sentenced 20-year-old Josh Lorusso to 30 days in jail for violating probation stemming from the June 2009 crash that killed 17-year-old Cameron Godee, the victim’s father, Gregory Godee, yelled out, “How much did they pay you this time?”

Sheldon immediately ordered Godee held in contempt. When Godee identified himself, Sheldon berated him, saying he and his wife left their son “unattended” the night of the fatal crash and that 300 empty beer cans were found in the Godee home.

“You can’t blame everything on him,” Sheldon said of Lorusso.

But Sheldon then accused Godee’s wife Mary of writing him threatening letters, which she denied.

Before being led away, Godee said he was out of town at work when the accident occurred.

Sheldon declared a brief recess. When the hearing resumed, a quieter Sheldon ordered Godee released “for time served,” and said, “It’s hard to control your temper. But there are places that you have to control it. Now you know the courtroom is one of those places.”

Lorusso had a blood alcohol level of .22 the night of the 2009 accident, and was giving anti-drunk driving talks at area schools until his arrest at a drinking party in Des Plaines.

He will have to wear an electronic monitor for 90 days following his release from the Kane County Jail. He could have been sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.

The Godees promptly filed a complaint against Sheldon with the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.

  • Roberta Waker

    So a teengers life is worth 30 days in jail instead of a possible 14 years? Judge Sheldon was wrong and should be fired for such a ridiculous sentence. I, too, wonder if he was paid. Lorusso obviously has a drinking problem and if he kills someone else, the family should own the judge for judicial misconduct at the very least. Hope the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board does something about this judge.

    • Judge Roy Bean

      come on…this is IL. Land of Corruption,…bet that judge is out looking for a new car,….bribres, and cesspool lackies by the morons who put them in office..

    • thomas

      it is Illinois the land of corruption, Rahm and Obama. I am actually surprised he got 30 days. Don’t y’all get it yet?

  • xedge

    A former pastor and community college instructor was sentenced Friday to six months in DuPage County Jail for sexually molesting a girl from Naperville on numerous occasions in 2010.

    DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Daniel P. Guerin could have sentenced the man, James W. French, to as long as seven years in prison for the assaults. Guerin cited French’s accomplished life and lack of a prior criminal record in imposing the jail term.

    Illinois needs wake and look who you voting for

    • Lyndia

      It dosen’t make any difference if he was a pastor, college instructor, or a chemist. 6 months in jail is nothing compared to what he did to that girl. 7 years was not long enough; he shouldhave been placed in jail for LIFE.

  • Leon Johnson

    This system and mayor past and present are aganist blacks period while they steal tax papers money ,look at chicago blacks go to jail for same crime whites let go,city is still on doom level.

    • madashell

      Yee gads, don;t you ever quit with playing that dam race card? We are talking about a young man who is now dead, and an incompetent judge, allowed to be bribed. We no longer have justice in this country. The U.S. has become so corrupt it now stands in line with the rest of the third world countries where corruption runs wild. That’s how that fascist Obomba got into office.

  • THEE Yard Ape

    These liberal POS judges need to experience some REAL justice themselves!!!! What an absolute disgrace, the father was was speaking his mind (and more than likely the truth also!!).

  • juju

    Guess you have to take care of your own kind. That’s what makes those people fun.

  • irishmary24

    It is the norm ,in our judicjal system, to blame the victim If the public is outraged, Remember this when he comes up for re-election. It IS possible to remove an undeserving judge from office.

  • Just Axin

    These POS judges think they’re above the law. Another reason we need to make good decisions at the ballot box as these a-hole politicians can apppoint them or we are voting the judges in.

  • responsible parent

    Did no one else read the whole story? The drinking occured in these peoples house. Their son threw an underage drinking party, presumably also drinking, and then got in a car with ones of his ‘guests’. While the judge could have been more ‘understanding’ of the grief these parents are feeling, to accuse a judge of taking bribes in open court, is definately ‘contempt of court’. especially when the first crime occured in their house-and I don’t see anywhere that they have been charged. It is possible, under Illinois law, to be charged with allowing an underage drinking party in you house-even if you are not home and unaware of the party, the law makes the presumption that parents are the first ones that should know what their kids are doing IN THEIR HOUSE.

    • Tasos

      If I place myself in the Godees position after having lost a son and witnessng the drunk responsible for his death, who was eligible for a 14 year sentence, walk away with a sentence of 180 days with probation, which he broke by getting drunk again and seeing him walk away unscathed for that, I can easily sympathize with the Godees. In the Godees place, I would have contempt for the judge and the court. It frankly is shocking that anyone, the judge included, would consider punishment of grieving parents, who lost a son, especially after they witnessed gross miscariage of justice regarding the consequences associated with Lorusso’s drunken negligence, which resulted in their son’s death. To defenders of Lorusso and/or Sheldon, walk a mile the Godees’ moccasins..

    • Check the facts

      I agree — you appear to be the only one who actually read the account, and isn’t just reacting to the headline and first paragraph.

  • Dylan

    I don’t blame the father. I would have said much more than that. Judges are idiots. They have jobs that they don’t deserve because they are not qualified to make the correct decision on anything.
    I’d a met this judge outside and had a personal meeting with him to explain the meaning of his life, and how short it is going to become. Plus, after this guy serves his ridiculous time, I’d be a the jail to pick him up for a fun ride home.

    There is no justice.

  • Mike G

    Good example of a judge who needs to be impeached, but in Illinois he is probably on the take. I suspect he took a bribe for such a light sentence to a murderer.

  • Tasos

    Sheldon’s motivation for his lenience should be investigated to determine if the system in Kane County is corrupt, or if judges there are incompetent. Either case, Sheldon should impeached for his conduct toward the Godees; an unconscionable outrage. If he is not impeached, then Kane County residents should affect the same result through their votes. The Godees should be lauded for their pursuit of the mater through the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.

  • Check the facts

    This is a misleading article. Googling “Josh Lorusso” shows the accident happened after under-age drinking at the Godee’s house. All passengers in the car had been drinking. The young man who caused the accident has already served 120 days — he got it reduced to that because of all the anti-drinking lectures he has been giving. This trial is not to punish him for the original accident; it is to punish him for drinking again. For a parole violation — not driving drunk again, but for drinking under-age.

    Personally, I think the sentence should have been harsher — but it’s not so unreasonable as to be considered incompetent or the result of graft. And accusing a judge of taking a bribe in the open court SHOULD be grounds for contempt. The judge was lenient to let the Dad off, too.

    • Tasos

      Sheldon was in contempt of justice in light of his sentence of 180 days and the sentencing guideline for up to 14 years for what Lorusso was found to have done. Furthermore, if Sheldon suspected Mrs. Godee of wrong-doing the proper, lawful thing to do would have been to notify authorities, rather than issue a baseless, reckless accusation from the bench after Mr. Godee voiced his protest.

      Had Sheldon properly sentenced Lorusso, who obviously was unaffected by his 180 sentence and probation, the Godees would have had no cause to complain about miscarriage of justice. Sheldon’s rulings and conduct demand contempt and subsequent thorough apolitical investigation. I suspect that Sheldon softened on his charge of contempt against the Godees after he calmed himself and realized that his conduct would soon be under review. It would appear that Sheldon has reasonable cause for concern.

  • slippery

    how about the judge in dupage county who was driving on the shoulder of route 83, the police pull him over and they smelled alcohol and his eyes are glassy so they give him a field sobriety test which he fails and then refuses to blow at the police station, if it was any other person in illinois he would have been prosecuted , guess what happened to the judge when he went to court ? thats right, all charges are thrown out. i guess that is the way things work in illinois.

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