The case against a Chicago Ridge teen charged with murder for allegedly driving the getaway car after the cowardly killing of a pal's sleeping parents was pushed back after a new lawyer jumped on board Tuesday.
Chicago attorney Mohammad Ramadan entered his appearance but still has to get "up to speed" with the case against 18-year-old Mohammad Salahat, said Joel Brodsky, a lawyer already representing the teen.
Salahat and three other young men—John Granat, 18, of Palos Township, Christopher Wyma, 18, of Bridgeview, and Ehab Qasem, 21, of Hickory Hills—all face murder charges for allegedly beating and stabbing Granat's parents to death in their bedroom. The four were arrested and have been held without bond at the Cook County Jail since shortly after the killings.
The 125-pound Salahat is being kept in protective custody.
Brodsky has claimed that his client had no idea his buddies were going to kill Granat's parents, John and Marie Granat. In fact, Brodsky has speculated, the other three were planning to do Salahat in next.
Prosecutors have countered that Salahat knew full well what his friends were up to inside Granat's home. Salahat also allegedly received $4,000 after the murder, and proceeded to splurge at fine restaurants and on video game shopping sprees.
Salahat's case has been split off from those of his co-defendants. Granat, Wyma and Qasem are set to appear at the Bridgeview courthouse on Friday.
Besides having his murder case tried separately, Salahat differs from the other four in that he is the only one who did not attend Stagg High School in Palos Hills. Salahat was a student at Oak Lawn Community High School at the time of the killings.
Cook County Judge Judge Neil Linehan gave Ramadan until Feb. 25 to get caught up with the case. Ramadan, who said little during the brief hearing, was tight-lipped afterward as well. He did say, "Lawyers are stupid," as he walked away from the courtroom.
During the week prior to Salahat's Feb. 25 appearance, Brodsky will likely have to testify in Will County court about his performance defending wife-killer Drew Peterson against murder charges last summer.
Peterson, a former Bolingbrook cop, was convicted in September of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Brodsky's co-counsel have since blamed him for blowing the case and he has been replaced on Peterson's defense team with another lawyer.
Will County Judge Edward Burmila set a two-day hearing starting Feb. 19 to see if Peterson should get a new trial. The bid for a new trial is based in large part on Brodsky's allegedly inept handling of the case.
Brodsky failed to respond to questions about the case and his feelings on his former co-counsels' plan to call him to the witness stand.