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Joliet officer's fiancée testifies at trial about night of alleged incident

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Nicholas Crowley[]

The fiancée of a suspended Joliet police officer, who is accused of recklessly firing his gun, revealed more details as to what happened the night that led to his arrest last year.

Cassandra Socha, 33, fiancée of Nicholas Crowley, 37, both Joliet police officers, was the first witness to testify at trial Tuesday. Crowley, who’s charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, waived his right to a jury trial and decided to have Will County Judge Daniel Kennedy preside over the case.

In opening arguments, special prosecutor Lorinda Lamken argued evidence from the scene and witnesses would support that Crowley recklessly fired a gun on July 16, 2017. Crowley’s attorney Jeff Tomczak argued Socha’s pitbull, at the time, became aggressive toward his client.

Socha testified to a night of drinking at restaurants with Crowley July 15, 2017, that became contentious when they arrived back at her townhome. She said the two were arguing, and her protective pitbull became aggressive toward Crowley but bit her in the face before she heard a gunshot.

Lamken questioned Socha at times about statements she allegedly made in an internal affairs interview after the incident that were apparently at odds with some of her testimony. Socha said she was ordered to answer questions from internal affairs.

Tomczak objected several times throughout Socha’s testimony, saying the statements she made to internal affairs were coerced. He previously argued for keeping her statements out of the trial because she was ordered to answer questions under the threat of losing her job. Kennedy allowed them in the trial.

When Lamken questioned Socha about allegedly telling internal affairs Crowley threatened to break a TV, she said when she spoke with internal affairs she had not been sleeping and was intoxicated.

“It was a very emotional and upsetting argument I had,” she said.

After Crowley was alleged to have shot at the ceiling of her townhome, Socha said she left the home but returned to find the doors locked. She took a cellphone video from outside of Crowley fidgeting with the bullet hole.

Socha said that when she came back inside the house, she saw Crowley packing a bag, and the two continued to argue before he left.

Lamken argued the bullet went through the ceiling, through a bed and hit the the wall behind the headboard.

The trial will continue Wednesday with Tomczak’s cross-examination of Socha and more witness testimony.