The lawyer for a McHenry County man charged in the mutilation and slaying of a homeless man last year is asking a judge to prevent a jury from hearing potentially incriminating statements he made to police.
But what suspect Kyle W. Morgan said, and why defense lawyers think it should be kept from jurors, is being kept under wraps after a McHenry County judge granted lawyers' unusual request to seal what normally is a public document.
Judge Joseph Condon said he could not discuss reasons for sealing the two-page motion because it is a pending case before him, but in making the request lawyers said the document includes references to information in police reports.
Prosecutors, who did not oppose the defense motion to seal the documents, said allowing the information to go public could harm Morgan's chances for a fair trial.
"We've got an obligation to abide by Supreme Court rules and to ensure that information is not disseminated to the public," State's Attorney Louis Bianchi said. "I think the judge did the right thing by sealing it."
Defense attorney Steve Greenberg said the statements he wants barred were made when Woodstock police interviewed Morgan, 25, while he was in a Nashville, Tenn., jail after his capture last year.
The basis for the request, he said, is a "typical Miranda issue" dealing with whether Morgan's rights were violated during the questioning. He declined further comment.
A hearing on the request could come as soon as Morgan's next court appearance on Oct. 19.
Morgan, a former Arlington Heights resident, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the Jan. 19, 2009, slaying of Robin A. Burton. The 28-year-old homeless man was found beaten and stabbed to death inside Morgan's Woodstock apartment.
Morgan was gone by the time Burton's body was discovered, but he was captured the next day in Nashville after driving over two people in the city's downtown while attempting to elude police.
Bianchi's office announced in July it would not seek the death penalty if Morgan is convicted.
Greenberg said in court Friday that he is still awaiting the results of a psychological evaluation that could determine whether issues of Morgan's mental fitness will come into play.
An artist, Morgan on a social networking site labeled himself "thrill Kill Kyle" and expressed an interest in serial killers.