Ex-Monee mayor accused of breaking ump’s jaw at kids baseball game will go to trial in January: judge – Chicago Tribune
A former Monee mayor accused of punching a youth baseball umpire in the jaw last year is set for a bench trial in January, a Will County judge decided Wednesday.
Jay Farquhar, who was ousted as mayor in the April election, is charged with two counts of aggravated battery. Each count carries a sentence of two to five years in prison if convicted.
According to authorities, the 51-year-old Farquhar allegedly broke an umpire’s jaw during a June 4, 2016 baseball game for 7- and 8-year-olds. The umpire required surgery for his injuries.
Farquahar, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, claims self defense. Will County Judge Daniel Kennedy will preside over his bench trial now set for January 10.
During a court hearing Wednesday, Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Christine Vukmir said witnesses described the umpire, Tim Nelson, as a “great guy” who was “positive, fair and great with the kids.” She also noted at least eight witnesses would say that Farquhar “sucker punched” Nelson.
The altercation occurred when Farquhar challenged one of Nelson’s calls. Nelson admitted that he called a foul ball when a girl swung and missed on what should’ve been called a strike to give her an extra chance to bat.
Farquhar, who was standing near Nelson catching and retrieving missed pitches, allegedly asked Nelson if he was drunk following his call. Nelson said he tried to reach for Farquhar to confront him, but Farquhar punched him, authorities said.
In a court hearing Wednesday, Farquhar’s attorneys attempted to get approval from Kennedy to use a prior arrest against Nelson in the trial to show a pattern of bad conduct. Their motion was denied. Vukmir noted the charge against Nelson eventually was dismissed.
The Chicago Tribune reported last year that Farquhar has been accused — though never charged or convicted — of aggressive behavior in the past. He was accused of punching a neighbor’s dog in the head, assaulting a police officer, and being aggressive in disputes with the village’s former mayor. His former wife also was granted orders of protection against him in 2001 and 2002.
Farquhar’s attorneys declined comment after Wednesday’s hearing.
Alicia Fabbre is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.