The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

State Supreme Court Sides With City Against E2 Nightclub Owners

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 4, 2013 7:20PM

Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously overturned a lower court’s ruling and sided with the city against former E2 nightclub owners Dwain Kyles and Calvin Hollins, Jr. Hollins and Kyles were convicted in 2009 of indirect criminal contempt related to the 2003 stampede at the nightclub that resulted in 21 people being killed.

Hollins and Kyles were sentenced to two years in prison, but a 2011 ruling by a state appellate court overturned the convictions and determined the city’s orders to shut down the second floor of the nightclub were ambiguous. The state Supreme Court’s opinion, written by Justice Lloyd Karmeier, found the original court order to close E2’s second floor was clear and that Hollins and Kyles were in violation of the order.

“Had the appellate court considered the evidence in the light most favorable to the jury’s verdict, it would have concluded that [Hollins and Kyles] were proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of indirect criminal contempt because a rational jury could have found that they were fully aware of what the building court’s orders prohibited and willfully disobeyed the orders.”

The Supreme Court returned the case to the 1st District Appellate Court to address complaints by Hollins and Kyles that the jury in the original trial was incorrectly instructed by the judge and certain evidence was misapplied.

We’ve included the Court’s opinion below.

Illinois Supreme Court Ruling in E2 Nightclub Stampede by Chicagoist