Crime & Courts

Judge acquits man accused of stabbing wedding guest in Woodstock with broken beer bottle

An Elgin man was acquitted of felony charges tied to a post-wedding-reception brawl that landed one man in the hospital after he was allegedly stabbed with a broken beer bottle.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather on Tuesday granted defense attorney George Kililis' request to find his client not guilty on each of the charges filed against him.

The victim, another man who attended the same wedding on July 7, 2017, testified Wednesday that it was Jeffrey Kerley who slashed him from mouth to shoulder outside the Woodstock Best Western, 990 Lake Ave.

Two additional witnesses who also testified Wednesday said they didn’t see the stabbing first-hand, however, and cellphone and surveillance video of the several-person fight was hard to make out in court.

If Kerley had been convicted of the most serious charge, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, he would have faced as many as five years in prison.

The fight reportedly began at a wedding reception in Harvard earlier that night and continued at the hotel where guests later were shuttled, police said at the time.

One witness testified Wednesday that Kerley ran from the scene when police were called. He couldn't say with certainty, however, whether Kerley was the person who stabbed the victim – a Glendale Heights man who was flown to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with an injury that was life-threatening.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that Prather's decision came on Tuesday.

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.