From Illinois Public Radio - News -

Chicago Car-Bomb Suspect Plot Pleads Not Guilty

The 19-year-old Chicago teenager accused of plotting to bomb a downtown Chicago bar was in court again Thursday.

Dressed in orange jail clothes, Adel Daoud looked cheerful during Thursday's arraignment. He even joked to Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman about the maximum life sentence he faced, telling her it couldn't be longer.

Asked how he pleaded, the bushy-haired Hillside teen said politely, "Not guilty."

As Daoud stood before the judge, his mother Mona sat whispering in Arabic to her husband Ahmed. She complained that Daoud’s hair should be cut and that he looked like a "za'ran" — roughly translated as "thug."

As Daoud smiled and looked over at her, she said “My sweetheart is like an idiot.”

Daoud's mother was overseas when her son was first arrested last month, and this was her first appearance in court. Throughout the hearing, she kept asking questions about who the different people were in the courtroom.

At the end of the hearing, Daoud's parents tried to stand up and walk toward their son, but the U.S. Marshall ordered them to sit down.

Afterward, while speaking to reporters, Daoud's attorney Thomas Durkin characterized his client as a teenager who was impressionable and didn't really understand the severity of the situation he was in.

While Daoud’s mother was unemotional, her husband was far more upset.

“This is the best kid. Not because he’s my son," he said holding back tears. "If you question school, if you question the neighbor, if you question everybody he know Adel, he never say to you one word bad.”

Meantime, Daoud's attorney Thomas Durkin told the judge that he wants to be privy to classified documents that the government is witholding. He says he'll argue the plot was the idea of agents, not his client.

A status hearing is set for Oct. 18. Lawyers for both sides hope to go to trial by early Spring.

Categories: Criminal Justice