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Court Watch: Murder Arraignment Pushed Back, Cameras in Courtroom Requested in High Profile Murder Trials

A look at recent court dispositions in DuPage and Kane counties.

DUPAGE COUNTY

Darien:

The Dec. 17 hearing for Joseph Spitalli's arraignment in his murder case has been pushed back after a request for cameras in the courtroom was filed.

Spitalli is charged in the November murder of a man dating Spitalli's ex-girlfriend.

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A motion has been filed seeking extended media coverage of Spitalli's arraignment. The judge set a Jan. 9 hearing on the media request, while scheduling the arraignment for Jan. 14, records show.
Ali Akel recently pleaded guilty to aggravated battery as part of a hate crime attack inside a Woodridge gas station in 2011.

Akel was sentenced to two years of probation and 364 days of work release from DuPage County Jail, according to court records. He will also spend time in a West Chicago nursing home and is ordered to follow recommendations for psychological treatment, including medications.

Akel hit and spit on a 22-year-old man as the pair stood inside the gas station. Akel, described in court records as bipolar, was wanted for several months after failing to appear in court shortly after his arrest.

Naperville:

Requests for cameras in the courtroom have been filed for upcoming hearings in two high-profile Naperville murder cases, court records show.

On Dec. 11, a motion was filed seeking to have cameras in place for Daniel Olaska's next appearance in February. The judge set a Jan. 7 hearing to discuss the request. Olaska is charged with stabbing a Naperville school teacher during a bar altercation earlier this year.

A similar request also has been made for cameras to cover Elzbieta Plackowska's next court date.

Plackowska is accused of stabbing two children to death in October. Her arraignment marked the first time a camera was allowed in a Chicago-area courtroom.

Her next scheduled court appearance is set for Jan. 4, but a judge will hear the media request on Dec. 19, records show. 

KANE:

St. Charles:

Bail has been set at $500,000 for a Glendale Heights man charged with a May armed robbery, records show.

Antwon Powell, 32, was in court Dec. 12 on allegations he stole $140 cash, an iPhone and a plastic bag containing cigars from a man in a bank parking lot on May 19.

Investigators were directed to Powell after his palm print was found inside the plastic bag taken from the man.

Powell was arrested Monday night and is now held in Kane County Jail. Powell has pending felony cases in DuPage County on forgery and identity theft charges. He has previous forgery and drug convictions from 2009, as well.

Powell is scheduled to return to court in Kane County on Dec. 20, according to jail records.

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