The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois on March 9, 2008 · Page 7
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The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois · Page 7

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Arlington Heights, Illinois
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 9, 2008
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Page 7
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SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2008 Sufourtif DAILY MERAl.l) SKCTION 1 PAGE 7 No bail for dad in suburban girl's death BY MELISSA JENCO mjnico@rlfiilylifrnM.rom A man charged with murdering his 5-year-old daughter is being held without bond, in what Cook County authorities say could be a death penalty case. Judge Lauren Gottainer Edidin ordered Elmyr Lawson, 37, of 9205 Potter Road in unincorporated Maine Township, held without bond during a hearing at the Skokie courthouse Saturday. . Lawson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly suffocating his daughter, Kae, with a towel in their home Thursday. Lawson admitted killing the child because she had messed up her toys, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart said Friday. The Cook County medical examiner's office conducted an autopsy and declared the official cause of death as suffo- Elmyr Lawson Kae Lawson cation and ruled it a homicide, a spokesman said Saturday. In asking that Lawson be held without bond, Assistant State's Attorney Michele Gemskie said he exhibited "brutal and heinous behavior" and that the preschooler's death was a "prolonged and agonizing way to die." Gemskie said Lawson is eligible for the death penalty, but did not say if they would seek it. Lawson's attorney, Richard Kling, said his client has a history of mental problems and was on a "plethora of medications," some of which were being taken properly and some not. Kling asked the judge if his client could get additional hospital care at the Cook County jail and the judge agreed. A certified phlebotomist, Lawson stopped working a year ago to take care of his daughter, known to most as "Kae C." His wife Geraldine worked two jobs, one as a nurse. On the morning of the murder, authorities say Lawson drove Geraldine to work, wishing her a happy seventh anniversary as she left die car. When they spoke again at 7 p.m. both were laughing and happy. But in a videotaped confession, Lawson told authorities he became angry when his daughter began making a mess with her toys. On the video, he demonstrated how he grabbed her from behind, put a towel over her face and held it there for 10 minutes, according to Gemskie. "He leaned on his daughter and pushed his weight on her as he held his hand over her face with the towel," Gemskie said. Lawson told authorities he then left the home, wanting to get far away. The young girl was found by her mom at about 10:20 p.m. Thursday. Geraldine had expected a ride home from work from her husband. When Lawson did not arrive at around 8 p.m., she called home several times, but got no answer. When she finally arrived home, she found her daughter on the ground, her skin pale and her lips dark blue. She begged for her to wake up. "She could not, would not wake," Gemskie said. The child was taken to Advocate Lutheran Genera! Hospital in Park Ridge, where she was pronovinccd dead. Lawson was arrested around midnight that evening in Elk Grove Village, where he was sitting in his car in a store parking lot near Route 53 and Biesterfield Road, police said. Police said he has no prior criminal record. Originally from the Philippines, Lawson moved to the U.S. when he was 17. About a dozen friends and family members of the Lawsons attended the hearing. His next court date is March 11. His big 'mistake' has cost him big BY ROB OLMSTEAD mlmstead@dailyliemld.com Call it a cautionary tale of going with the flow. The only thing Shyam Singh did wrong was get shaken down, his lawyer said. But instead of going to the FBI, the 56-year-old Rockford entrepreneur, scientist and owner of two companies played along. Now Singh's a felon, guilty of mail fraud. Not only is the business he was trying to keep for Ms company gone, but he'll be prohibited from working on any government contracts in the future. He also is on the hook for $325,000 that prosecutors say a Bartlett man, Saverio "Peter" Barone, stole. "It's clear that you have lived a very honorable life," Judge Joan Lefkow said Friday when she reduced Singh's sentence from a possible 12-18 months to two years probation. Even the U.S. attorney's office, which is not prone to attacks of sugar-coating defendants' criminal involvement, signed off on the wording of Singh's plea agreement, which noted he agreed to pay Barone only because he feared his companies would lose business if he did not. Barone worked for Gas Research Institute, or GRI, a Des Plaines company. It's successor company is Gas Technology Institute, or GTL Here's how Singh got stung: Singh had previously done a research project for GRI/GTI analyzing the toxic properties of certain chemicals emitted in the coffee-bean roasting process. The work was on the up-and-up, and Singh submitted a complete report on his work. Later, in 1999, Singh suggested GRI/GTI fund another study on how to reduce those toxic emissions. Barone, a manager at the company, agreed, but demanded a kickback of $12,000 of the $80,000 project, the plea agreement said. Not only would Singh not get the contract without the kickback, but he believed he would lose other future GTI/GRI business, court documents said. Singh reluctantly went along. But once Barone had Singh partway down the slippery slope, he kept pulling, court documents said. Barone told Singh that a consulting company Barone owned had been hired to do work for another company he did not identify. Problem was, the plea agreement said, Barone told Singh there was a professional conflict of interest between Barone and the company, so he couldn't be discovered billing for the work. If Singh would bill for the work instead, and pass along the payments to Barone, Barone would let Singh keep about $25,000 of the payments, court documents said. Singh, his plea agreement said, honestly believed Barone was actually doing the work, but couldn't bill for it. Singh figured Barone was merely double-dipping on GTI/GRI, doing work for them both directly and through his consulting company. Again, afraid he might lose v work if he didn't cooperate, Singh went along. Later, when he never got a report from Barone on the work, he suspected the truth: that Barone had in fact done no work and was fraudulently billing for non-existent studies. Barone has been charged with mail fraud in a related case, which is pending. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn McNiven told the judge that Barone is near death and no money will likely be recovered from him. Barone could not be reached for comment Friday. INVITING INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES TO PARTICIPATE AS S.PQNSQR_S IN THE 2008 SUMMER OUTDOOR 'ART PROJECT. 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