Wilson's New Attorney: Client's Location 'A Problem'

The public defender assigned to represent the man accused of murdering 14-year-old Lyons Township teen Kelli O'Laughlin said that having his client nearly 100 miles away could pose a problem.

The public defender assigned to represent John L. Wilson, , met his client today for the first time.

On May 15, Wilson dismissed his attorneys, and co-counsel Michelle Gonzalez, and . It was a move that surprised even Carroll.

"It's insane for a person not to have an attorney," Carroll told Patch after the May 15 hearing. "That's like asking me to rebuild my own car engine."

The judge asked Wilson at the time if he wanted some time to think about his decision.

"I think you need to think hard and fast. These are serious matters. I believe there is forensic evidence in this case. DNA also. Much of this is very difficult for a lay person to understand. I strongly urge you to accept the appointment of a public defender," Judge John Joseph Hynes told Wilson on May 15.

Wilson is facing a 31-count felony indictment, which includes a potential sentence of life in prison for the first-degree murder charges alone. He agreed to accept the services of a public defender.

David McMahon is one of two public defenders at the Fifth Municipal District Courthouse in Bridgeview, who handle murder cases. He was assigned to defend Wilson and is so new to the case that he has yet to see any of the police reports related to the O'Laughlin murder.

"At this point, you know more about the case than I do," said McMahon to reporters outside the courtroom.

McMahon met briefly with his client for a few minutes Wednesday.

"I told him 'I'm the attorney assigned to your case'," said McMahon "[Wilson] said, 'OK.'"

McMahon filed a motion of discovery at Wilson's hearing Wednesday.

Patch asked McMahon if the distance to the Pontiac Correctional Facility, where Wilson is currently being held, would pose any issues. Wilson's former attorney, Carroll, said having his client so far away made it difficult for him to mount a defense.

The detention facility in Pontiac, Ill., is nearly 100 miles south of Chicago on I-55.

"That's a problem," said McMahon. "Just one of them."

Wilson is due back in court for a status hearing on June 27.


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