ST. CHARLES – Instead of arguing for a dismissal of charges against a Geneva man accused of sending anonymous hate male to local residents, the man’s attorney sought a conference with the prosecutor and the judge which may lead to a plea deal.
Anton L. Purkart, 50, was charged July 13 with four counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, in that he knowingly sending anonymous derogatory statements to several individuals “in such an unreasonable manner as to alarm and disturb … and provoke a breach of the peace,” according to the charging documents.
Letters attributed to Purkart targeted women, a gay man and Hispanics, according to police reports.
On March 8, instead of a hearing on the motion to dismiss, Purkart’s lawyer, Matthew Haiduk filed court papers seeking a continuance on a March 19 bench trial that had been set.
Kane County Associate Judge Salvatore LoPiccolo Jr. granted the continuance and Haiduk’s other request for a 402 Conference to be held in its place.
A 402 Conference is a legal rule which provides for a judge to be part of a plea negotiation prior to trial, according to Illinois Supreme Court rules. The judge may make a recommendation as to sentencing if the defendant pleads guilty, thereby avoiding a trial, according to the supreme court rules.
Purkart’s pre-trial conference will be held privately in LoPiccolo’s chambers at Kane County Branch Court, court records show.
Disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor. Purkart faces four charges, each with a maximum punishment of up to 30 days in jail and fines of up to $1,500 if convicted.
Also on March 8, LoPiccolo granted motions filed by prosecutors to amend their complaints against Purkart.
According to the amended charges in each case, Purkart “knowingly and anonymously mailed letters containing derogatory, threatening, or other words, which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace, in such an unreasonable manner as to alarm and disturb” each victim.