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Local News

Records: Joliet brothers defend themselves in murder case

Amari Morgan (left) and Blaique Morgan. Both brothers were charged in 2016 with the murder of 62-year-old Robert J. Bielec. The brothers have represented themselves in court at various times.
Amari Morgan (left) and Blaique Morgan. Both brothers were charged in 2016 with the murder of 62-year-old Robert J. Bielec. The brothers have represented themselves in court at various times.

Two brothers charged with killing a 62-year-old man outside his home nearly three years ago have been representing themselves at various points in their court cases.

On Nov. 22, Blaique P. Morgan, 23, accepted representation from Will County Assistant Public Defender Gabriel Guzman after spending more than two years defending himself and filing motions to obtain grand jury transcripts and hire expert witnesses and a private investigator.

His brother Amari H. Morgan, 21, has been representing himself since Sept. 26 after dropping his public defender, Stewart Ferreira, as his defense counsel.

Both men have been charged with killing Robert J. Bielec on Jan. 7, 2016, outside his house in the 1700 block of Houston Avenue in Joliet Township.

The Morgans struck Bielec with a pipe or crowbar after an argument over comments Bielec supposedly made about their sister, police said.

Michelle Palaro, spokeswoman for the Will County Public Defender’s Office, said she couldn’t disclose why the Morgan brothers have decided to represent themselves because it would breach attorney-client privilege.

“It is a defendant’s right to represent themselves if they wish or to hire private counsel,” Palaro said.

The Morgan brothers’ murder cases have yet to go trial after two years and 11 months. State’s attorney spokeswoman Carole Cheney said she expects a trial to take place next year.

“There are no currently pending motions, but we anticipate there would be pre-trial motions should the matter go to trial,” she said.

The brothers’ next court date is Dec. 16.

On Nov. 19, 2018, Blaique P. Morgan filed a motion for funding and appointment of a private investigator to interview witnesses, consult with expert witnesses and interview prosecutors’ witnesses, according to court records. A judge granted the request on Jan. 11.

In 2017, the brothers were allowed to attend the funerals of their parents, Patrick Morgan, 49, and Angel Morgan, 42.

The couple died in an apparent murder-suicide in their Bluff Street home, police said. Autopsies revealed Patrick Morgan suffered a single gunshot wound and Angel Morgan had been shot multiple times.

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