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Felon blames attorney for conviction in Grayslake woman’s death

Donald Mischke

Donald Mischke

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Updated: April 17, 2013 2:38AM

A prison sentence for the Lisle man convicted of first-degree murder and other charges for driving a car into the Waukegan Target, stealing a TV, driving through the city and running a red light that killed a Grayslake woman remains to be determined.

Donald Mischke, 56, was due for sentencing Friday before Lake County Circuit Judge Mark Levitt, who presided over the bench trial last month and convicted Mischke of the charges.

Mischke had waived his right to allow a jury to hear his case.

The sentencing did not happen because Mischke wrote his own post-trial motion for “insufficient counsel,” defense attorney Christopher Lombardo said.

In his motion, Mischke alleges his attorney coerced him into having a bench trial. Mischke wrote that more issues with his attorney will be brought out in his appeal process.

Mischke was unable to elaborate on further allegations against his attorney when Levitt questioned him.

“Quite frankly, Mr. Lombardo has done an outstanding job so far,” Levitt said.

Levitt said he will give Mischke until March 1 to file his motion for ineffective counsel.

Levitt will rule on the motion March 8 and then proceed to sentencing if the motion is denied.

Lombardo said after the hearing his client had put on the record that it was his decision to go with a bench trial.

“This is completely par for the course for me. I’ve been doing this for 20 years. This is nothing new or unexpected,” Lombardo said of his client’s allegations.

Mischke faces 20 to 60 years in prison for his first-degree murder, burglary, retail theft, aggravated fleeing and eluding police and aggravated DUI convictions.

In the early hours of Dec. 23, 2010, he smashed a car into the Waukegan Target at 3050 N. Lewis Ave., and stole a flat-screen TV, fled the scene, drove through Waukegan at speeds in excess of 100 mph, authorities said.

Mischke ran a red light at the intersection of Green Bay and Belvidere roads, striking the car of Grayslake woman Elisha Clark-Idelburg, 25. She died at the scene.

Several members of her family were present at Friday’s hearing. One relative said she was disappointed at the delay, but declined to comment further.

Mischke remains in custody at Lake County Jail.

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