Crime & Courts

Man charged with funeral furlough escape is back in DuPage jail, faces new charges

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A Villa Park man who authorities say cut off his GPS monitor while on furlough to attend his brother’s funeral is back in custody at the DuPage County jail.

Bruce T. Berrier, 23, was found Saturday at a Jewel-Osco store in Glendale Heights, according to a news release from DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.

Bail was denied Sunday for Berrier. He is charged with one count of felony indirect criminal contempt of court, one felony count of escape/violate electronic home monitoring, one felony count of failure to return to a penal institution and one misdemeanor count of criminal damage to government-supported property.

If he is convicted of the contempt charge, state law allows indeterminate sentencing, in excess of six months in prison, to be set by the court.

Berrier pleaded guilty in July 2021 to one count of felony gunrunning. On Dec. 14, 2021, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, of which he must serve at least 75% before being eligible for parole.

He was still in the DuPage jail on Jan. 11, when he received a furlough to attend his brother’s funeral. He was supposed to return at 2 p.m. that day.

Instead, it authorities say he cut off his GPS monitor. Elmhurst police found it on a parkway near a cemetery.

Berrier was found Saturday at a Jewel-Osco store in Glendale Heights.

Prosecutors had objected to allowing Berrier to attend the funeral.

If he is found guilty of any of the new charges, he will have to serve his sentence consecutive to the gunrunning sentence.

According to State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, the U.S. Marshals, the DuPage County sheriff’s department, and Elmhurst, Villa Park, Lombard, Downers Grove, Berwyn, Cicero and Glendale Heights police departments collaborated to find Berrier.

Berrier’s next court date is Feb. 14.

Berrier pleaded guilty in 2018 to the unauthorized discharge of a firearm. He was accused of shooting two people in 2015 after someone threw a snowball at him during an altercation.