Created:Wednesday, April 27, 2011 8:04 p.m.CST
Updated:Wednesday, April 27, 2011 8:59 p.m.CST
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Van Arsdale asks for new judge in Butler shooting case

By BILL BRAKSICK - bbraksick@daily-chronicle.com

SYCAMORE – One of two men arrested in the shooting of Devon Butler has a new attorney and the other accused in the incident is asking for a new judge.

Mark O. Orozco, 24, and Richard Van Arsdale III, 20, are both charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with the April 5 shooting that injured NIU football player Devon Butler.

Orozco and Van Arsdale have both been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm; those are Class X felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Both men – who were attending NIU but have since been essentially expelled from the school – are also charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and unlawful delivery of marijuana. They are being held in DeKalb County Jail on a $1 million bond each.

Orozco appeared Wednesday at the DeKalb County Courthouse via closed circuit television from the jail. He was last in court April 14 for a bond reduction, with Batavia attorney William Glisson. During that hearing, Glisson asked that Orozco's bond be reduced to $50,000, a request that was denied by Circuit Judge Robbin Stuckert.

On Wednesday, Orozco was back in court for status hearing. Although Glisson was in court, he said he was withdrawing from the case. Instead, Orozco will be represented by Todd Cohen, an attorney in the Dundee firm McNamee & Mahoney.

Van Arsdale is represented by Gary Johnson and Nils Von Keudell of the Aurora-based firm Camic, Johnson Ltd. According to court documents, Van Arsdale has filed a motion requesting a substitution of judges.

The motion states, "The defendant fears that he will not receive a fair trial if he is tried before the Honorable Judge Robbin Stuckert and the Honorable Judge Karen Simpson."

DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell said a criminal defendant has a statutory right to substitute a judge without a hearing. When doing so, a defendant can name up to two judges. Any subsequent request would require a hearing to show cause for the substitution.

Simpson is a circuit judge in the felony division based at the Kane County Judicial Center, according to the 16th Judicial Circuit website. The 16th Judicial Circuit encompasses DeKalb, Kane and Kendall counties.

Van Arsdale is scheduled to appear in court May 2, at which time the case will likely be passed to DeKalb County Presiding Judge Kurt Klein for reassignment.

Butler was released April 19 from Rockford-based OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center; he is staying with NIU linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz as he continues to recover.

DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen has said the shooting was retaliation for a drug deal that happened earlier in the day April 5 in which Orozco and Van Arsdale supplied between 10-30 grams of marijuana, but did not get paid, to two other people. The drug deal took place several hours before the 11:56 p.m. shooting at a location near the Aspen Court apartment building. According to police, the two who stole the drugs went to apartment No. 3 of 1009 Aspen Court and hid.

Police have stressed that Butler was not involved in, nor was he present during or had knowledge of, the drug transaction. Authorities have said that Orozco fired four rounds from a 9 mm gun into that apartment while riding in a vehicle driven by Van Arsdale. Butler was in that apartment visiting friends; he was shot in the upper right side of his back.

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