“Guilty, Guilty, Guilty, Guilty, Guilty, Guilty, Guilty . . .” Serial killer Darren Vann responding to Judge Samuel Cappas as he was asked how he pleads to each count of an Amended Criminal Information
May 4, 2018-A short hearing resulted in a finding of guilty to seven counts of murder today in the Darren Vann serial killer saga. For all practical purposes, the 7 consecutive admissions of guilt ends the 4 year saga for families of Darren Vann’s victims. As a technical matter, Judge Cappas accepted Vann’s plea of guilty, entered judgment of guilty on all counts and scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 25, 2018.
Vann was led into the Court under heavy guard. Officers from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department elite Emergency Response Team flanked the courtroom and could be seen in the hallway near Judge Samuel Cappas’ office. 6 court security personnel were present versus the normal two or three. In the past Vann had displayed contempt for the Court and no one knew how he would react today-the day the case finally came to a conclusion. The hearing went of without incident.
Lead defense attorney Gojko Kasich asked the Court’s permission to stand as his client was shackled and could not sit. Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter and Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewiecz introduced the Stipulated Plea Agreement and Amended Information into Evidence. Ms. Jatkiewiecz explained that the Amended Information combined two cases into one for purposes of entering into the Agreement. The parties stipulated to the facts of the case as follows: