A Johnsburg teen who vanished from his workplace more than eight years ago and hasn't been seen since was killed over a drug debt, McHenry County prosecutors said in court papers filed today.
The documents suggest 17-year-old Brian Carrick and a suspect in his murder, McHenry resident Mario Casciaro, had an arrangement in which the teen would sell drugs supplied by his accused killer and turn over a portion of the proceeds.
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"(Carrick) failed to turn over the money and this resulted in a confrontation in which the defendant was seeking to collect the debt," Assistant McHenry County State's Attorney Michael Combs writes in the court papers. "The people allege the murder and the concealment arose out of this dispute and the collection of the drug debt was the defendant's motive to commit these crimes."
Defense attorney Brian Telander was not immediately available for comment today.
Casciaro, 26, of the 2700 block of Patricia Lane, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder and one count of concealment of a homicidal death in connection with Carrick's Dec. 20, 2002, disappearance.
Carrick was last seen that night at Val's Foods, a grocery store near his home where he worked and Casciaro was his supervisor. Traces of Carrick's blood were found in the store, but there has been no other sign of him since.
The charges claim Casciaro, or someone for whom he was legally responsible, struck Carrick in the head during an act of intimidation and unlawful restraint, causing his death. Casciaro, who is being held in the county jail on $5 million bond, has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors raised the drug issue Wednesday as part of a motion requesting permission to present evidence of drug dealing by Casciaro at his trial. Normally, evidence of other, uncharged crimes is banned at trial, but Combs argues in his motion that the information in this case is admissible because it shows motive.
The case against Casciaro could rest largely on Shane Lamb, a 25-year-old Lake Bluff man believed to have cut a deal with prosecutors in which he will receive immunity for his part in the killing in exchange for testimony against Casciaro.
According to reports, Lamb told authorities he struck Carrick at Casciaro's behest and then left the grocery store believing he was still alive. Lamb currently is serving a six-year prison term on unrelated drug charges.