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Murder-for-Hire Suspect Wants Statements Barred

Former Wheaton resident Gordon Vanderark is accused of arranging to kill four people, including a judge and prosecutor.

A former Wheaton man accused of arranging to have four people killed claims investigators violated his rights when they questioned him about a murder-for-hire plot last year, court documents show.

Gordon Vanderark, 54, is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2010 of aggravated drunken driving. He has multiple previous DUI convictions. In November, Vanderark was charged with solicitation of murder for hire after an investigation determined he planned with another inmate to kill the judge and assistant state’s attorney from the DUI case, as well as his ex-wife and another man.

But, according to a motion filed by Vanderark’s attorney, prosecutors and investigators used “psychological and mental coercion” to obtain statements about the plot from Vanderark. DuPage prosecutors also overstepped their jurisdiction when they tape recorded conversations in another county at Centralia Correctional Center, the motion states.

Additionally, Vanderark’s defense claims prosecutors tried to “skirt” prisoner transport rules when they had Vanderark brought to court in November for a hearing that never occurred, another motion states.

Prosecutors have until April 30 to respond to the motions. Judge George Bakalis set a May 4 hearing to hear arguments on the eavesdropping issue and Vanderark’s request to be put in general population at the jail.

Vanderark paid a fellow inmate $2,000, with the promise of a total of $70,000, to carry out the killings of Assistant State’s Attorney Audrey Anderson and Judge Blanche Fawell and the other two, according to prosecutors. They also suggest Vanderark targeted Anderson and Fawell because of the sentence he received on his latest DUI conviction.

Vanderark has been held in the Centralia since being sentenced by Fawell in December 2010. He was scheduled for parole in 2020.

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