Mt. Vernon Register-News


May 1, 2014

Local woman acquitted by jury

MT. VERNON — A Jefferson County jury has acquitted a Mt. Vernon woman on an attempted residential burglary charge.

A jury deliberated for about 20 minutes on Wednesday morning before finding Cynthia Hamilton, 56, not guilty. Hamilton was indicted by a grand jury on March 3 on the Class 2 felony, which alleged she intended to commit the offense of residential burglary in that she attempted to enter into a residence in the 1100 block of Oakland Avenue.

Hamilton was represented by court-appointed attorney Todd Ringel. The jury was selected on Tuesday and evidence was presented. Closing arguments were presented on Wednesday morning before the case was given to the jury.

This is the third time Hamilton has been acquitted in recent years on similar charges.

She was charged with residential burglary in June 2010 and in February 2011 was found not guilty by reason of insanity. She was also charged in April 2013 with theft between $500 and $10,000 and was acquitted by a jury.

As a result of the 2010 case disposed of the following year, Hamilton was ordered to undergo in-patient treatment through the Illinois Department of Human Services. In 2012, DHS recommended she be released on an out-patient basis. Hamilton petitioned the court following those recommendations and the court ruled in her favor with conditions to seek outpatient services, despite objections from the State.

Hamilton was arrested about a year ago on the theft charge and was held in custody until her jury trial earlier this year.

Prior to her release after being acquitted by the jury, Hamilton was charged with the attempted burglary charge and was held in custody until this week’s trial.

“We’re disappointed with the outcome. Law enforcement officials worked hard on the case and we presented what we thought was convincing evidence. The jury disagreed with us,” said State’s Attorney Doug Hoffman. First state’s attorney Darrin Rice prosecuted the case.

“We will continue to monitor her because she is still on conditional release,” said Hoffman, reporting the conditional release time frame is for a period of five years.

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