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CHICAGO (STMW) — A West Town man was found not guilty Friday of beating the bassist of a popular Chicago alternative rock band unconscious in 2010.
Justin Pivec of the 1400 block of West Ohio Street was charged July 2, 2010, with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. Judge Vincent Gaughan found him not guilty Friday following a bench trial, according to the Cook County State’s Attoreny’s office.
Pivec was accused of beating Madina Lake bassist Matthew Leone unconscious in the street about 12:45 a.m. on June 29, 2010.
Madina Lake posted a statement on the band’s Facebook page Friday evening:
“We’re utterly baffled and shocked to get a Not-Guilty verdict in the Justin Pivec attempted murder case. Admittedly we’re not well versed in the justice system but today a vicious coward was given a free pass for beating his wife and almost killing my brother. This has taken a tremendous toll on all of us for 2 years and though we’re devastated .. we will continue to focus on the positive, which is that Matthew is still with us and hopefully this has spread awareness for victims of domestic violence. More later as we attempt to comprehend this.”
Police said Pivec was beating his then 29-year-old wife in the 1300 block of West Ohio Street when a man — identified by the band and police as Leone — attempted to intervene. Piven then attacked Leone, police said.
Leone was left unconscious in the street, his brother said on the band’s website. Leone later had a third of his skull removed at a local hospital, his brother said.
Shortly after the attack, The Smashing Pumpkins held a Chicago benefit show to raise money for Leone, who did not have medical insurance. Gov. Pat Quinn called Leone “a true American hero” and proclaimed a Matthew Leone Day at the fundraiser.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)