Murder victim's family sues police

Bond denied for suspect in fatal stabbing
July 10, 2008 8:38:51 PM PDT
The family of Adelina Weber is suing the Waukegan Police Department claiming not enough was done to protect her from her husband.Clarence Weber, 58, is accused of killing his 31-year-old wife Saturday in the northwest suburbs.

Adelina Weber was granted an order of protection against her husband last May.

The couple had a home in Waukegan that burned to the ground shortly after the protection order was issued. Clarence Weber is being investigated for that fire.

Clarence Weber was briefly a fugitive until his capture early Tuesday morning in Lake County, Indiana. On Thursday morning in a Waukegan courtroom, he was ordered held without bond for the murder of his wife.

Adelina Weber's family believes she would be alive today if police had acted on what the family believes were clear threats.

"She tried to tell Waukegan officers many times, and we tried to tell them that her husband was a terrible threat to her. He was a very real threat. And they just didn't believe her," said Cynthia Trujillo, victim's sister-in-law.

On May 6, one day after Adelina Weber was granted an order of protection against her husband Clarence, her family says two Waukegan police officers came to her house as she prepared to move her belongings out. Her family says there was a note on the wall handwritten in large red crayon. "Now everything is going to end. But this time I'm going to keep the kids out of this. I needed help and you didn't give it to me. You forgot I love you. Clarence."

"This threat was pointed out to them by Adelina's sister who said, 'Hey look, he's threatening my sister again. What are you going to do?' And they said, 'Don't worry about it, he's drunk," said John Karnezis, lawyer for victim's family.

The following day, Adelina Weber's house burned down from a fire of suspicious origin. The remains of the house have since been removed. On Saturday, investigators say, Clarence Weber met his wife near her job in a Lincolnshire parking lot and stabbed her to death. Adelina Weber's family is suing Waukegan police, contending that the note on the wall and the fire should have been immediate red flags for police.

"A simple cursory investigation would've revealed information available to every law enforcement officer in America that he'd been previously convicted of taking substantial steps to kill his former wife," said Karnezis.

Clarence Weber served six years in prison in Florida in the early '90s for an arson and the attempted murder of his former wife.

The city of Waukegan says, "Our sympathy goes out to Adelina's family."

The police chief says domestic violence is the department's number one concern and that the case is being investigated but that the department's initial review reveals that proper procedures were followed.

The family says they went to the police station the night of the fire, and became aggravated when an officer couldn't tell them of Clarence Weber's whereabouts.

"And then the police officer related to her, 'Lady, if you don't want to get yourself in more problems, just leave,' that the officer was doing as much as he could in his job and he made no more information," Trujillo said, translating for another family member..

Clarence Weber was transferred to the Lake County Jail in Waukegan Wednesday after being arrested by Indiana police near Crown Point, Indiana, on Tuesday.


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