Listen to the Heroin Overdose Call Made From a Judge's House That the 911 Director doesn’t want you to hear

After withholding a recording of a 911 call made from retired Will County Judge Rodney Lechwar's home in Channahon for nearly a year, Wescom Executive Director Steve Rauter was told by the Illinois Attorney General's Office to give it up.

The son of retired Will County Chief Judge Rodney Lechwar was out of prison a mere nine days when he suffered an apparent heroin overdose in his father's Channahon home.

Police sent to Lechwar's house on South Navajo Drive for the June 2013 overdose report said they found baggies and needles at the residence, but the special prosecutor appointed to handle criminal matters involving the judge's son chose not to file new charges. The son, Matthew Lechwar, 31, was—and still is—on parole, but no move was made to revoke it and send him back to prison.

Matthew Lechwar was put on parole after serving only seven months in prison. The special prosecutor, Charles Colburn, went along with a deal to allow Matthew Lechwar to participate in a special prison boot camp to cut his sentence down to a matter of months even though he was looking at spending as long as 30 years behind bars.

Patch requested a recording of the 911 call made from Lechwar's home but was refused by Steve Rauter, the executive director of the Western Will County Communication Center. Rauter claimed the recording contained the "biometric identifiers" of those speaking on the call and that the speakers did not sign a release for the recording.

After nearly a year, the Illinois Attorney General ruled that Rauter was wrong to deny Patch's request. When asked by Patch if he would have withheld the recording if it did not involve a judge's son, Rauter said he had followed the advice of an attorney.

"We follow our legal advice of our attorney," he said. "It's between myself and my attorney."

On the 911 call, a speaker identifying herself as "Kristina" says Matthew Lechwar is her boyfriend and that, "He’s on the ground. He’s not moving or nothing."

Kristina, who screams in panic, says, "I need, I need an ambulance for, for my boyfriend’s house, I just, I had a, my boyfriend was in the bathroom and he just got out of jail ... and I … you need to get here now, I need you to get here now, I need you to get here now."

"I think he overdosed on heroin," Kristina says.

Matthew Lechwar was arrested and jailed on a new heroin charge since the reported overdose at his father's home. The Joliet police picked him up in January for allegedly holding nine bags of the drug near the corner of Eastern Avenue and Osgood Street.

Rodney Lechwar bailed his son out of jail in April and Matthew Lechwar has been free since. He does not have to return to court until July. When he does, he may or may not find out if his sixth drug case will put him in prison for the third time.

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Randy Wayne June 18, 2014 at 01:42 AM
Putting non-violent drug addicts in prison does not help ANYONE. If taxpayers are going to have to pay to keep him in prison for 30 years, we might as well flip the bill for a good drug rehab program instead. Obviously, the preference would be for his father to flip the bill....
Shorewood Guy June 19, 2014 at 04:02 PM
Too late for this man - I believe for him it's prison or death by OD...
Tiff June 23, 2014 at 05:03 PM
He should have left his ass in jail. Tough love people.


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