On March 23, 2019, Ulisses Medina Espinosa murdered his ex-wife, DeKalb County Assistant State’s Attorney Stacia Hollinshead. Previously, Hollinshead had won sole custody of the couple’s daughter during their divorce, as well as receiving an order of protection against Medina Espinosa in approximately 2016. Despite the divorce and order of protection, Hollinshead had remained close with Medina Espinosa’s mother. During a routine visit with the child to Medina Espinosa’s mother’s home, Medina Espinosa arrived at the home unannounced under the pretense of bringing gifts for the child, which he had done on previous occasions. When his mother left the room, Medina Espinosa shot Hollinshead in the back 16 times.
In Illinois, an Emergency Order of Protection is typically entered on a short-term basis after an emergency circumstance, such as being attacked by a family. The emergency order of protection is often issued without the presence of the person the order of protection is entered against, as it allows the order of protection to stand in place while the person is notified of the order. This is because the risk of violence increases after an order of protection is entered, and the courts do not want the victim to go unprotected during this especially dangerous time. After the emergency order of protection is entered, the police serve the order onto the defendant, and the defendant is able to appear in court at hearing. After hearing, the court may decide to extend the order of protection for up to 2 years. In this case, Hollinshead’s order of protection likely would have expired sometime in 2018, mere months before she was murdered.
When the order of protection expires, the victim may petition the court for an extension of up to another 2 years if he or she is still in fear of the defendant. In that instance, the victim must provide the court with reasoning of why he or she is still afraid. In this case, Hollinshead would have been able to advise the judge of any time that Medina Espinosa had appeared unannounced at his mother’s home while Hollinshead was present, as well as any other threats he may have conveyed around the time of expiration of the order of protection.
Once an order of protection is entered, the victim should keep a copy of the order on their person at all times. As soon as a violation of the order occurs, the victim can then call the police to make a report or have the defendant removed from the premises. Additionally, violations of orders of protection can result in fines, criminal charges, and imprisonment.
Hearings for orders of protection can sometimes be intimidating for those unfamiliar with the court system or uncomfortable seeing their abuser in person, even in the courthouse. Should the defendant wish to hire their own attorney, the defendant’s attorney may be allowed to cross-examine the victim, which can be very overwhelming. Kiswani Law is experienced in prosecuting orders of protection and assisting clients during hearing, including by objecting to any and all improper lines of questioning. If you are being abused or harassed by a family or household member, and you think an order of protection is best, contact Kiswani Law, P.C. for a consultation.