New Judge for Man Charged in Walmart Altercation
In his second court appearance, Jason Thurmond of Montgomery asked for and received a new judge in his misdemeanor battery case. Thurmond was charged after an incident at the Oswego Walmart involving an off-duty Kendall County Sheriff's deputy.
The Montgomery man charged with battery in a scuffle with an off-duty Kendall County Sheriff’s deputy last month made his second court appearance on Monday.
Jason Thurmond, 38, was charged with misdemeanor battery after an altercation at the Oswego Walmart on Super Bowl Sunday that culminated in that off-duty officer pulling his gun. Oswego police reported that several officers responded to the Walmart on Route 34 for a fight in progress about noon on Feb. 5.
Thurmond has identified the officer as Dep. Craig French, who serves as the public information officer. The sheriff’s department has not confirmed that French is the officer in question, but his name appears on the Oswego Police Department report from the incident.
Thurmond said he was in an express checkout line with his wife, and had gone back into the store to get eggs. When he returned, he said, he saw his wife in tears, and heard French yelling at her. An argument began, and Thurmond admits to shoving French to keep him away from his wife, who was nine months pregnant.
It was then that French pulled his gun, Thurmond said. The recently-released 911 tapes reveal that French only announced himself as a sheriff’s deputy after pulling his weapon. The Kendall County Sheriff’s department is conducting an internal investigation into the incident, and will release results once the criminal trial is over.
On Monday, Thurmond’s attorney, Richard Irvin, requested and was granted a new trial judge. Thurmond was initially scheduled to appear before Kendall County Judge Marcy Buick, but the case will now be heard by Judge Alan Cargerman.
Thurmond explained that the move was not to cast doubt on the fairness of Judge Buick. He said Irvin requested a judge he is more familiar with. Irvin said he is still waiting on subpoenaed security camera video from Wal-Mart, and the transcripts of several interviews conducted by the Oswego Police Department.
Thurmond’s next court date is April 25.
Thurmond filed an official complaint with the sheriff's department on Feb. 7. Thurmond has also said he plans to go forward with a lawsuit, but none has been filed. He said he has retained attorney Kevin Halverson of Warrenville, who could not be reached for comment.