A LaGrange Park man, accused of killing a 26-year-old Brookfield man in 2012, was cleared of first-degree murder charges on July 14 following a bench trial at Maybrook courthouse in Maywood.
Judge Geary Kull convicted 57-year-old Carl Spoeri of battery, a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to a year in prison. He could also be fined up to $500 and sentenced to probation or community service.
Spoeri has not served any time in jail during the two years the case has wound through the court system. He posted bail shortly after a judge ordered him held on $250,000 bond. He was indicted and charged with two counts of first-degree murder on Sept. 14, 2012.
Spoeri’s attorney, James Chess, maintained since his client was charged that the murder charges would never hold up. No one has ever disputed that Spoeri struck Bojan Zigic during an altercation in front of the Spoeri home on Aug. 20, 1012.
“I think that the entire incident was quite unfortunate for everybody,” said Chess, adding that he has known the Spoeri family for 40 years. “Any parent who loses a son at any age is a real tragedy. But what Carl Spoeri did was not likely to cause death. He regrets it. The whole thing was a tragedy for both families.”
Zigic was engaged to be married to Spoeri’s daughter, Erica. The two had a child together and were living at the LaGrange Park home at the time. A dispute earlier that day prompted Zigic to rent a truck so he and his family could move out. As Zigic was preparing to leave, the argument resumed. Spoeri punched Zigic, who fell and hit his head on the bumper of a vehicle parked in the driveway.
Chess said Spoeri lost his job as a result of the charges. Any jail time would result in him losing another job, Chess said.
“He’s been struggling since then,” said Chess. “I think all of the parties have suffered.”
Attempts to contact Erica Spoeri by phone were unsuccessful.
In an unusual move for a misdemeanor case, Kull did not pass sentence immediately and has ordered a pre-sentence investigation. The case will be in court again on Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. in Room 105 at Maybrook.