A jury trial will begin Wednesday for Will County sheriff deputy Edward Goewey, who was charged with disorderly conduct after he entered a Catholic school in Mokena last year after learning of a potential threat of violence a student had made.
Goewey has pleaded not guilty to the disorderly conduct charge. He was charged with the misdemeanor after entering St. Mary Catholic School, 11409 W. 195th St., on Dec. 3 after learning that a student had made a threat of gun violence in his daughter’s classroom.Prosecutor Bill Elward and Goewey’s attorney, Bob Bodach, met Tuesday morning with Will County Judge Brian E. Barrett to talk about the trial before jury selection in the afternoon.Attorneys will not be allowed to mention the name of the child who made the initial threat that sparked the incident, or any school policy changes that may have occurred after Dec. 3, but rather focus only on Goewey’s actions inside the school that day.The trial is expected to last two or three days.According to a Mokena police report, Goewey felt the situation had not been properly addressed, yelled and tapped his hip indicating he had a concealed firearm during his Dec. 3 visit. School officials told police that they were “disturbed and alarmed by Goewey’s erratic behavior,” the police report said.Goewey wanted school officials to remove the student from the school until assurances could be made the student was not a threat, the police report said.Goewey was a frequent volunteer at the school, helped at recess and lunch and coached boys basketball, according to the police report.Bodach has said Goewey has advanced special weapons and tactics training and has participated in multiple active shooter trainings. He said Goewey had the safety of the students in mind, noting the incident occurred just days after a school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, in which four students were killed, and there was a concern of potential copycat shootings.Nearly 25 supporters for Goewey attended Tuesday morning’s proceedings.Michelle Mullins is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.