Judge still mulling new trial in Joliet Outlaws murder case

Jeremy Boshears, 36, answers question during cross examination. Boshears is charged with the murder of Kaitlyn “Katie” Kearns, 24, on Nov. 13, 2017. Wednesday, April 27, 2022, in Joliet.

A Will County judge still needs more time to decide whether a Coal City man should receive a new trial or an acquittal in a case in which he was convicted of killing a woman in 2017 at the Joliet Outlaws motorcycle clubhouse.

Judge Dave Carlson initially planned on delivering his decision Wednesday. However, Carlson told both parties in the case against Jeremy Boshears, 38, that he’s still reviewing records and transcripts.

“I will probably need about a week or so,” Carlson said.

Carlson plans to issue his ruling Jan. 24.

Boshears’ attorney, Chuck Bretz, filed a motion Aug. 1 requesting that Carlson either acquit his client or grant him a new trial. Bretz’s motion argued that prosecutors committed misconduct and Carlson failed to avoid numerous errors throughout the two-week jury trial in 2022.

The jury found Boshears guilty of killing Katie Kearns, 24, in 2017 at the Outlaws motorcycle clubhouse in Joliet Township.

It also found him guilty of concealing her death from authorities when he stowed a vehicle with her body inside a barn in Kankakee County.

The Outlaws Motorcycle Club clubhouse in Joliet. Tuesday, May 17 2022, in Joliet.

On Sept. 13, prosecutors objected to Bretz’s motion by arguing that Boshears was not denied a fair trial, the evidence against him was enough for the jury to find him guilty, and their closing arguments at trial were based on “reasonable inferences” from the evidence.

Both sides made their final case to Carlson during a court hearing Dec. 20.

During closing arguments at Boshears’ trial in 2022, Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Steven Platek said Boshears’ actions in the wake of Kearns’ death were not of someone who saw a suicide but of someone who committed murder.

“If she killed herself, why is he getting rid of the evidence?” Platek told the jury.

Boshears said in his testimony that he saw Kearns shoot herself and that he concealed the truth of her death from her family and authorities under orders of his superiors from the Joliet Outlaws.

In Bretz’s closing argument, he said Jimmy McCoy, the Joliet Outlaws’ leader at the time, had threatened Boshears and his family.

Bretz said evidence in the case did not support the charges that Boshears killed Kearns. He told the jury that the prosecutors were inviting them to speculate that he killed her.

“They simply don’t have any evidence,” Bretz said.