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Judge offers to step aside in case involving DCFS worker’s beating

November 3, 2017 GMT

MOUNT CARROLL – To avoid the appearance of a potential conflict of interest, the judge in the case of a Rock Falls man accused of severely beating a DCFS worker is offering to step aside.

Carroll County Judge John “Jerry” Kane’s mother is a retired Department of Children and Family Services worker who was based in Rockford, and as an attorney, Kane also handled cases involving the DCFS, he told 25-year-old Andrew Sucher at a hearing this morning.

Those connections would not affect his ability to be impartial, Kane said, but he wanted to give the defendant the opportunity to seek a different judge if he so desired.

Through his appointed attorney, Michelle Buckwalter-Schurman of Morrison, Sucher asked to have the weekend to think it over.

A status hearing was set for 11:30 a.m. Monday.

Sucher is in Carroll County Jail on $200,000 bond. He pleaded not guilty Oct. 6 to aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, and aggravated battery of a state employee, each of which carries 2 to 5 years in prison.

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He is accused of kicking and beating a 59-year-old child welfare investigator so badly outside his parents’ Milledgeville home around 5:45 p.m. Sept. 29 that she was hospitalized in OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford in critical condition with with serious brain injuries.

She was in a coma, one of her colleagues and a DCFS official said in mid-October. At the family’s request, the hospital no longer is releasing information on her condition, a spokesman there has said.

The investigator went to the home to take protective custody of a 2-year-old after Sucher was charged in Whiteside County with felony aggravated battery of a child in the beating of a 6-year-old boy.

He also was charged with domestic violence after he threw his girlfriend against a wall, court records show.