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Woodstock man accused of striking, shaking infant to remain in jail

A McHenry County judge denied the reinstatement of pre-trial bond Thursday for a Woodstock man accused of shaking and seriously injuring an infant in 2019.

Eric H. Hanstad, 38, was initially arrested in March 2020 and charged with class X aggravated battery causing permanent disability to a person younger than 13 and aggravated domestic battery, according to court records.

Prosecutors allege that on or about Sept. 12, 2019, and Nov. 29, 2019, Hanstad struck and shook the infant so hard she suffered bilateral subdural hematoma requiring surgery, two skull fractures, retinal hemorrhaging, bruising in the right inner ear and swelling of the ligaments in the neck, according to the criminal complaint filed in McHenry County.

On April 8, 2020, he posted $30,000, 10% of $300,000 bond, according to court records.

Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said Hanstad violated the rules of his bond by going to Wisconsin with the alleged victim and her mother.

Additionally, on April 30, he missed a court date therefore forfeiting his bond, according to court records. At that time, Judge Robert Wilbrandt issued a $500,000 warrant.

When Hanstad went to court four days later with his attorney, who at the time was William Bligh, he said he accidentally missed his court date. Bligh motioned to quash the warrant but was denied. Instead, Wilbrandt remanded Hanstad to McHenry County jail where he has remained since, according to the jail log.

“He did not, knowingly, miss his court date,” his attorney Gal Pissetzky said Thursday. “He made an innocent mistake. He has been in jail almost 11 months now on a mistake of missing a court date.”

Pissetzky also said during the time Hanstad was out on pre-trial bond he was allowed to go to Florida two times for work and returned each time.

“He is not a flight risk,” Pissetzky said, adding that Hanstad would be living with his grandmother in Cary and will have no contact with the alleged victim. He also said his law firm has an alert system that would remind Hanstad of his court dates.

Eisenstein said the courthouse already provides reminders for court dates.

While out on bond, Hanstad missed two court dates and picked up a misdemeanor charge for leaving Illinois without permission and traveling to Wisconsin with his alleged victim and her mother, Eisenstein said in asking the defense motion be denied. She also noted he is facing class X felonies, which are not probational.

Wilbrandt denied the motion to reinstate his bond, according to the trial conference order, and ordered a date be set for trial.

Trial date is set for Aug. 22 with a jury conference Aug. 18.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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