Exclusive: Did McLean County issue an illegal warrant?

By:  Diane Benjamin

As I write Michael Cadena is still in jail in Massachusetts.  His son Mikey’s whereabouts are unknown.  Amber (mom) Buck’s attorney refuses to disclose this information. Sources tell me that there is a significant question regarding the transfer of the child and if proper Massachusetts procedure was followed or if it was even legal. That story is still developing.

Many things are happening behind the scenes in this case, much of which I can’t write about yet.

Tomorrow Michael has a hearing. His criminal attorney, Michael Bradley, plans to challenge the validity of the warrant used to incarcerate him as well as denial of bail. As previously reported, on September 7, 2018 Judge LeAnn Hill found Michael Cadena in direct criminal contempt of court for failing to return to Illinois with his son. However, unlike indirect contempt, direct criminal contempt of court occurs in the immediate presence of the judge. I can say that I and an out-of-state reporter looking into this case have not been able to find more than a handful of cases where a charge like this has stuck. In fact, all other Illinois cases were overturned in the Supreme Court. At the end of the hearing Hill ordered the issuing of a warrant to arrest Michael Cadena.

 On September 27, 2018, during another hearing before Judge Hill, a discussion was had regarding the limitations of the September 9th  warrant and why it was not enforceable to extradite Michael Cadena to Illinois. Transcripts show Sheriff Sandage was called to testify and there was further discussion regarding an email from the States Attorney’s office that details specifics given on how a warrant may be entered into the NCIC system. I have come into possession of this email. Hill had been frustrated at a previous hearing that her warrant was only entered into the LEADS system. Hill recalled the September 9th warrant and issued a new one adding the words “extraditable with no geographical limits”. She is quoted as saying this was a “hybrid warrant”, meaning it had no basis in the law.  Michael’s Illinois attorney, Adele Saaf swiftly filed an appeal challenging the validity of this warrant and it is currently docketed in the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court.

This current warrant, and the process used to enforce it is unlawful. It transitioned a civil case into a criminal case improperly and denied Michael Cadena his constitutional right to due process. I and the other reporter reached out to several Illinois criminal attorneys who are not directly involved in this case and who wished to remain anonymous – all said to “challenge the warrant”. Additionally, a civil rights attorney based in Chicago, who also requested to remain anonymous, stated without a doubt, “Whether not Mr. Cadena remains incarcerated or if he is freed, he will have a civil rights case against McLean County”.

This unlawful warrant violates Illinois (725 ILCS 225/3) and Massachusetts (M.G.L. c. 276 §14) for the following reasons:

  • There is no affidavit or indictment attached
  • Michael is not a fugitive from justice
  • There is no demand from an Executive Authority in Illinois to an Executive Authority in Massachusetts
  • Michael is not accused or convicted of a crime.  Direct Criminal Contempt is not codified in the Illinois Criminal Code, it is an offense in common law only

This case has gone far beyond complex and controversial. The recent actions by Judge Hill and Amber’s attorney to purposefully deny Michael Cadena his constitutional rights as a criminal defendant are not only questionable and shameful but put a serious spotlight on the judicial practices of this county. A judge’s role is to make findings of fact, apply law to fact, and to make rulings. They should not be involved in the execution of the process. It is more than unethical. I have been told a Massachusetts Representative and 2 Senators are pushing the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office to investigate this warrant and get it vacated. Our State’s Attorney must quit sitting on the sidelines. If the warrant is ruled illegal, Michael Cadena has a huge civil rights lawsuit against McLean County. A jury will not look kindly on illegal imprisonment. Not only that, whether the States Attorney’s office acknowledges it or not, they had a hand in creating this warrant and having it entered into the NCIC system. Things may or may not have escalated to a higher agency, I am still looking to confirm.  Stay tuned.

The State’s Attorney has said he will not pay for the extradition of Michael Cadena.  Sheriff Sandage told me this morning the 11th Judicial Circuit would get the bill.  I’m still looking into whether that is common practice.


24 thoughts on “Exclusive: Did McLean County issue an illegal warrant?

  1. The courts and their misled judges are totally guilty of child abuse to innocent, tortured little Mikey. I don’t know how they can live with that. They obviously have no conscience.

  2. The child has suffered enough trauma from a drug involved mother and her meddling family. McLean county has added to that. Maybe the Child Advocacy Center would assign a CASA for the child. Clearly the parents and court have lost their objectivity. Nice job McLean county!

  3. I hope Mike can sue the McLean County! Can’t believe Judge Hill knew Mike was trying to appeal in court to keep his son safe and not be retramatized again. Since when is that a crime?

  4. I saw Mikey 3 weeks ago. He warmed up to m in a half hour. What he said to me broke my heart. I am a united States Marine veteran. He asked me What would you do with SCARY MOMMY? You should of heard he toughts! Mikey needs to be with his dad who only cares about him!!

  5. What a huge mess! So this poor man is still incarcerated for protecting his son. Now the warrant may not be legit yet they are standing around scratching their heads. GET HIM OUT OF THERE! Judge Hill wherever you go whatever you do you will forever be remembered for this. She will walk away from this soon. This is just so wrong. Sleep well Judge Hill!

  6. Thank you for following and keeping the public informed. Not sure how McLean County can keep their heads in the ground with this.

  7. And the McLean County Taxpayers will be obligated to pay once Michael sues for the false imprisonment and the harm done to his son – – could be in the millions – – all because a retiring judge issued a “Hybrid ILLEGAL Warrant”; yet Judge Hill will suffer absolutely no harm and live happily ever after on more than likely a six figure pension that she contributed very little of her own money. What repercussions will the McLean County States Attorney suffer for his participation in this calamity?

  8. This is horrifying that our judges are making up their own laws now. How many more million dollar lawsuits are we going to have against this county! We are still paying for the last one! Now our States Attorney’s office is enabling that behavior instead of preventing it? Awful. Thank goodness you and that Boudreau woman are staying on top of it and not letting them get away with this! Keep posting updates. Praying for justice for that family!

  9. WHAT THE HELL is wrong with this county! Another case of corruption? When is someone going to do a much needed investigation and clean house of these disgraces. How many cases like this until someone steps up and does what is RIGHT. I hope he sues their asses off for what they’ve done to him. I have two little ones of my own and I would do exactly what Cadena did if it was the only way to keep my kids safe Sickening what they did to him

  10. Kash Jackson has been talking about this case on his live feeds! Lots of support for ya man! Keep fightin!

  11. Is Illinois the new Louisiana? This needs to be elevated to the Department of Justice. This is the most horrific case of injustice I have seen in my lifetime.

    If I understand correctly, Michael fled Massachusetts because of concerns that the judge was biased. Looks like he was right.

    The only fault I can find with him is that he didn’t have flee the country. He should have.

    This judge needs to lose her pension and face criminal charges.

  12. Is Illinois the new Louisiana? This needs to be elevated to the Department of Justice. This is the worst case of injustice I have seen in my lifetime.

    If I understand correctly, Michael fled Illinois because of concerns that the judge was heavily biased against him.

    Looks like he was right. The only fault I find with him is that he didn’t flee the country. He should have.

    That judge should lose her pension and be brought up on criminal charges for the warrant.

    She and the parents of Amber Buck, should be investigated as Richard insinuated he could influence judges behind the scenes.

    Please keep the updates rolling in.

  13. Can the judge be terminated before she retires? Would this cause her to lose her pension? If so McLean county needs to move in this direction to help with the future lawsuit.

  14. So the dad had full custody…. how come he had to file anything to move his son which he had full custody of? And give the child back to a woman who let be honest tortured the poor boy(reading the injures they found goes beyond simple abuse in my opinion) How did another state go along with this, it bad enough it got past a judge but to go past a judge and office in another state and be upheld is beyond crazy. If the child is really returned to the birth mother, everyone involved in the return should be brought up on criminal charges because i can see nothing but pain coming from such an action.

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