Will County judge rules man whose conviction overturned in death of Joliet bartender can be released

In 2022, a jury convicted Boshears of murder and concealing a murder for the 2017 death of Katie Kearns

Leah Hope Image
Monday, April 29, 2024
Man whose conviction overturned in bartender's death can be released
A Will County judge ruled Jeremy Boshears, whose conviction was overturned in the murder of Joliet bartender Katie Kearns, can be released.

JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- A Will County man could be released from prison soon.

On Monday, a judge ordered Jeremy Boshears' release, after his conviction in the murder of a Joliet bartender was overturned.

But, Boshears' prison release may not be a done deal.

Boshears is set to be released May 20, while he awaits a new trial.

"He was extremely grateful to the judge for following the law," Boshears' attorney Chuck Bretz said.

In 2022, a jury convicted Boshears of murder and concealing a murder for the 2017 death of Katie Kearns.

This January, the same judge who ordered Boshears be released, overturned his conviction and granted him a new trial, due to errors during the original trial.

"He was hopeful of getting out today, but he remains hopeful that three weeks from now he will finally be released after seven years of waiting to get this case resolved," Bretz said.

In 2017, Kearns was a Joliet bartender who told friends she was going to see Boshears at a biker clubhouse called Outlaws.

Kearns' body was later found in the back of her SUV in a Kankakee County barn. She had been shot in the head.

In court Monday, the judge noted Boshears had no criminal history prior to that first trial and new state guidelines about whether someone accused of a crime can be held in custody.

"I think that under the law, in particular the SAFE-T Act that now governs all pretrial release of all defendants in Illinois, that the judge made the right decision," Bretz said.

Prosecutors could challenge the release before May 20.

For now, Boshears will continue to be held until at the Will County Jail. When and if he is released, he is ordered to be on 24-hour home confinement and electronic monitoring.

No new trial date has been set.

Boshears' relatives declined an interview leaving court Monday.

Those closest to Kearns could not immediately be reached.