Megan Boken Murder, Murder-for-Hire, Home Invasion: Cases to Follow in 2013

Court cases related to Wheaton individuals and events will continue to next year. See which major cases to follow in 2013.

Megan Boken Murder

The two men charged with the Aug. 18 murder of Megan Boken, a St. Francis and St. Louis University alum, will be on trial. Keith Esters, 18, of Bel Ridge, MO, reportedly admitted he was involved in the shooting of Boken. His accused accomplice, Johnathan Perkins, told police he agreed to drive Esters to St. Louis for a robbery. Perkins allegedly stopped the car to let Esters out for the robbery. He then allegedly parked the car within sight of the shooting, waited for Esters and drove him away from the scene. 

According to the statement, Esters told police he saw Megan Boken on her phone, and chose her as the target of a robbery. He then approached her with the gun and while trying to rob her, he shot her twice, the document states. 

Esters, charged with first-degree murder, attempted robbery and two counts of armed criminal action is scheduled for a trial setting Feb. 14. Perkins appeared in court Dec. 10 for a trial setting. 


  • Two Men Charged in Megan Boken Murder
  • St. Francis Alum Megan Boken Shot to Death
  • Facebook Friends Organize Moment of Prayer in Memory of Megan Boken
  • UPDATED: Police Question 2 Men in Megan Boken Killing 
  •  at Thursday Funeral

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of two posts on court cases that will continue in 2013. On Wednesday, Patch will publish a list of court cases dealing with sex-related crimes, including child pornography and sexual assault.

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Home Invasion, Battery at Off-Duty Officer's Home Near Wheaton

Kerin Ramirez will go to trial for home invasion and aggravated battery after a September 2011 incident in an off-duty police officer's home near Wheaton.

Ramirez, who was a student and wrestler at Harper College at the time of the incident, . The homeowner, who was home with his wife and children, ages 2 and 4,  heard noise downstairs, found Ramirez and told him to leave, according to the State's Attorney's Office.

A fight ensued when Ramirez refused to leave. After identifying himself numerous times as a police officer, the homeowner got his revolver. When Ramirez continued to attack, the homeowner shot him once in the abdomen.

A DuPage judge ruled he would allow evidence from the defense that Ramirez was intoxicated and that the off-duty officer shot him following the altercation.

Ramirez is being held at DuPage County Jail on $300,000 bond. 

His trial was delayed multiple times earlier this year, and will begin April 16, 2013.


  • Judge Allows Evidence in Wheaton Home Invasion Trial
  • Trial Delayed in Wheaton Home Invasion Case
  • Man Shot By Off-Duty Officer in Wheaton Claims Self-Defense
  • Trial Date Set for Man Shot By Off-Duty Officer in Unincorporated Wheaton
  • Man Shot by Off-Duty Officer Remains Hospitalized
  • Off-Duty Officer Shoots Alleged Intruder on Papworth Street
  • Off-Duty Police Officer Shoots Intruder

Murder-for-Hire Plot Against 2 Public Officials, 2 Others

Gordon Vanderark is accused of soliciting the murder of two DuPage County officials, his ex-wife and another man while serving a 16-year prison sentence for multiple DUI charges. 

Vanderark, formerly a Wheaton resident, allegedly agreed to pay the hit man $70,000 for the killings and that he had already paid the hit man more than $2,000 in advance. 

A judge recently ruled that DuPage prosecutors used an improper tactic to bring a murder-for-hire suspect in for questioning. However, Judge George Bakalis decided the information obtained in the interview, and ultimately the charges filed against Gordon Vanderark, would have been no different if the tactic had not been used, records show.

Prosecutors used a confidential source to learn about Vanderark's plan and set up a "ruse" hearing on an unrelated issue to have Vanderark brought back from the Centralia Correctional Center. 

Once in DuPage, Vanderark was questioned and then charged with solicitation of murder for hire. Bakalis found problems with that approach, but declined to suppress Vanderark's statements from the interview because he likely would have offered the same information if he was interviewed at Centralia, according to court records. 

Vanderark appeared in court Dec. 17 for a status hearing. Check back with Patch for the next scheduled court date.


  • Prosecutors' Questioning Tactic Scrutinized in Murder-for-Hire Case

  • Prosecutors Deny Violating Murder For Hire Suspect's Rights
  • Murder-for-Hire Suspect Wants Statements Barred
  • Judge Won’t Disqualify Prosecutors From Murder Plot Case
  • Former Wheaton Resident Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Solicitation Charges
  • Inmate Allegedly Solicited Murder of Two Public Officials

Former Forest Preserve Employees Charged With Theft, Misconduct

Mark McDonald and David Tepper, two former administrators at the DuPage County Forest Preserve, pleaded not guilty to charges they schemed to steal $150,000 from the forest preserve, 

Authorities say the men . In the first plan, involving McDonald's and Tepper's company Integrated Design Solutions, the two former employees billed and received more than $90,000 from the forest preserve for equipment and services that were never delivered from 2005 to 2011. A third man, Arif Mahmood, is charged with stealing more than $10,000 from the district as a contractor for the forest preserve. He has also pleaded not guilty. 

The three men are scheduled to appear in DuPage County court Jan. 16.


  • FBI Investigates Forest Preserve Contracts
  • Forest Preserve Employees Accused of Misusing Funds
BIll I December 18, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Can't wait for the politicians in Illinois to write a new conceal carry law and get with the times like all the other States thereby giving Illinois citizens the right to defend themselves against punks like Esters.


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