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Judge to Appoint Special Prosecutor in Laquan McDonald Case

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*A Cook County judge has agreed to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the murder case against Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, charged in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, reports CBS News.

Judge Vincent Gaughan granted the request for a special prosecutor nearly a month after Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez asked to be recused from the case.

Alvarez had initially resisted calls for a special prosecutor, declining her office had any conflict of interest, and defending her handling of the case. However, she reversed course more than a month after losing her bid for re-election in the Democratic primary in March.

Gaughan said he will first contact Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office to ask if they can take over the prosecution. If her office does not take the case, Gaughan will contact the state’s appellate prosecutor’s office, and then other state’s attorneys in Illinois. If none of them can take the case, Gaughan said he would reach out to private attorneys.

Defense attorney Dan Herbert said he’s prepared to take the case to trial, no matter who the prosecutors might be.

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