Detective Makes Case Against Quashing Evidence in 1972 Naperville Murder Case

Naperville Murder
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Defense attorneys are continuing attempts to quash evidence in a nearly 50-year-old case in which Barry Lee Whelpley is accused of murdering and sexually assaulting 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson.

On Wednesday, Naperville Police Detective John Reed took the stand in a Will County courtroom, where he faced questions about the way authorities questioned the 77-year-old defendant.

The defense team argues that Whelpley made statements to police at his home in Minnesota before authorities recited his Miranda warnings and they therefore warrant quashing.

About the Case

The case is the result of nearly 50 years of investigation into Hanson’s murder. She was reported missing on July 8, 1972, after she had borrowed her brother’s bike the previous day to go to a baseball game, and didn’t come home. Police said they found Hanson’s body later that day in a field in Naperville near 87th Street and Modaff Road. She had been stabbed multiple times.

Naperville police announced last year they had used advanced genetic evidence analysis to tie Whelpley to the crime.

Questioning v. Interrogating

Reed made his case that Whelpley was interested in talking to police when they executed a search warrant at his Minnesota home.

But the defense team’s Tracy Stanker called Reed’s position into question, saying authorities didn’t merely question Whelpley, they detained and interrogated him and it was disingenuous to state otherwise.

Reed said that while police initially did not have probable cause for arrest, Whelpley could’ve asked to leave his residence at any point during questioning. Stanker countered that argument, saying the prosecution was playing “mental gymnastics” over Miranda warnings and how they’re used.

Law enforcement authorities had obtained a light soft approach search warrant to enter Whelpley’s home, having found that there may be evidence of reasonable cause that the defendant committed the crime. Whelpley was ultimately arrested in June 2021. He is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault.

The case will be continued to March 15 at 11 a.m. At that time, Judge Dave Carlson is expected to weigh in on whether to quash the motion to suppress statements made by Whelpley at his home before authorities recited the Miranda warnings.

Extended Media Coverage Requests

Also at the hearing, Carlson provided an update on the court’s response to extended media coverage requests. The judge has determined that still photography is permissible in the courtroom with several exceptions.

Carlson’s decision prevents pictures from being taken of witnesses, the gallery and jury box. In addition, the judge finds that cameras should not click or make other noises.

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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