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Crime & Courts

French suit folds against Towne, Peru

A suit by the estate of a Dalzell man, against former La Salle County State's Attorney Brian Towne and various police, was closed out last week in Chicago federal court.

The late Danny French filed suit in 2015, alleging his constitutional rights were violated by then-State's Attorney Towne, the La Salle County Sheriff's Office and Peru police. Specifically, French alleged he was the victim of malicious prosecution and false arrest. Defendants denied wrongdoing.

Donna French, the administrator of French's estate, dropped the suit Friday.

The suit was in connection with harassment and intimidation charges lodged against French between December 2014 and April 2015. The 42-year-old French died June 5, 2017. The criminal charges were pending when he died.

Julie Ajster, who was French's fiancee and attorney, kept the suit going on behalf of his estate after French died.

Ajster updated the suit in November to say French died from a bad reaction to a drug he was taking to cope with stress from the allegedly false charges against him. Ajster blamed Towne for French's death, saying French would not have been taking the medication if not for Towne's actions.

Towne's attorney said this allegation, as well as the entire suit, should be tossed.

Ajster had withdrawn March 29 as attorney for the estate.

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