Jail release pending for man charged with Joliet Outlaws murder case

Jeremy Boshears, 36, walks back to his attorney after 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 granted the jail release of a Coal City man who had been previously convicted of a 2017 murder at the Joliet Outlaws clubhouse but also ordered his ruling to not take effect for 21 days.

Judge Dave Carlson’s decision on Monday to release Jeremy Boshears, 38, from the Will County jail marked one of his last major rulings before he retires from the bench on Tuesday.

When someone with Boshears’ family began to applaud, Carlson said, “Hang on, hang on, there’s a catch.” Carlson said he was “staying the execution” of his court order for 21 days to give prosecutors time to appeal his decision.

“I understand this is unorthodox,” Carlson said.

Carlson said he hoped his decision in Boshears’ case would illustrate all the potential problems he believed existed with the SAFE-T Act and the law’s demands on the judicial branch when considering defendants’ pretrial release.

Carlson raised ethical concerns with having to decide whether Boshears should be released under the Pretrial Fairness Act when he was the judge in Boshears’ trial in 2022. Carlson said Boshears’ motion requesting release under that law asks him as the trial judge to make a factual determination regarding the evidence of the case.

“It’s fraught with peril,” Carlson said.

That concern arose after Carlson allowed Boshears to have a second trial based on what he saw as the cumulative effect of mistakes committed by prosecutors. During the 2022 trial, Carlson considered whether to declare a mistrial and expressed frustration with prosecutors numerous times before and during the trial.

Carlson said he was not going to get into the politics surrounding the SAFE-T Act or his own feelings regarding it, but he nevertheless said the law “poses more questions than answers” and puts judges in a “really, really bad spot.”

Carlson said he mostly based his decision to release Boshears on what he considered were the facts and circumstances of the case, Boshears’ lack of criminal history and his ties to the community. He ordered Boshears to stay confined at his residence with limited exceptions and submit to electronic monitoring.

Boshears’ next court hearing is set for May 20 for status on the concerns regarding his release from jail.

Judge David Carlson talks to the defense during the Jeremy Boshears trial. Boshears is charged with the murder of Kaitlyn “Katie” Kearns, 24, on Nov. 13, 2017. Monday, April 25, 2022, in Joliet.

In 2022, a jury convicted Boshears of the Nov. 13, 2017, first-degree murder of Kaitlyn “Katie” Kearns, 24, when he shot her in the head at the Outlaws clubhouse in Joliet Township.

The jury also convicted Boshears of concealing Kearns’ death from authorities and driving her body about 50 miles away from the crime scene and putting her inside of a barn in Kankakee County.

Boshears initially faced 45 years to life in prison but a sentencing hearing was postponed for a motion requesting a new trial, which Carlson granted on Jan. 24.

Boshears testified at trial and failed to persuade the jury with his claim that Kearns died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Boshears was an Outlaws member at the time and he admitted to concealing Kearns’ death from her brother and detectives under orders of his superiors with the Outlaws.

Although no independent eyewitnesses to Kearns’ death could be found, prosecutors presented circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and testimony that they said pointed to Boshears’ guilt.

One of the forensic experts who testified in the 2022 trial said it would be difficult to determine whether Kearns died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound because the scene of where she died was altered.

Kearns’ body had been moved, the area where she died was cleaned and a bullet hole in a ceiling was covered by a fire alarm detector.