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updated: 8/24/2011 5:05 PM

Defense attorneys try to block statements in Lindenhurst murder

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  • James Ealy

    James Ealy


A detective testified Wednesday that no one read James Ealy his Miranda rights -- required before police question suspects -- during the first hours Ealy was in police custody. But Det. Andy Ulloa also testified that no one asked Ealy any questions.

Ealy, 46, is charged with killing Mary Hutchison, the manager of a Lindenhurst Burger King, during the Nov. 27, 2006 robbery of the restaurant.

Ealy's attorneys are seeking to have any statements their client made to police barred from being used against him at a trial that has yet to be scheduled.

Ulloa, a Waukegan police officer assigned to the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, said he was driving the car that transported Ealy to the Lake County sheriff's office for questioning about the murder on Dec. 1, 2006.

As he drove, Ulloa said, he and the other three detectives in the car did not ask Ealy anything about the crime or any other matter.

Ulloa said Ealy began speaking unprompted and started to cry when he spoke about being in a jail cell.

"He said that nothing good was going to happen to him and he asked us if we wanted to know why," Ulloa said. "And there was a long pause because none of us responded, and he finally said 'Because of the evil inside me.'"

Ealy was charged with the crime later the same day after police are shown on videotape reading him his Miranda rights and Ealy declines to answer questions.

Police said they found that Ealy, who had worked with Hutchison at the restaurant and knew her work hours, had called the restaurant twice during the early morning hours of the day of the murder.

They also said coins in the exact amount known to have been taken from the restaurant safe were found in Ealy's apartment on the day before he was arrested.

The hearing of the motion will be continued on a date to be set next month.

Ealy is held without bond in the Lake County jail.