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updated: 8/26/2011 5:33 PM

New witness in 1982 Round Lake Beach murder case

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A Lake County prosecutor said Friday he has found a new witness who is prepared to testify he heard the man accused of a 1982 murder in Round Lake Beach admit to the crime.

Robert Bostic, 71, is scheduled to go on trial starting Monday for the June 25, 1982 shooting death of Carlton Richmond in a garage converted into a biker bar.

Assistant State's Attorney Ken Larue told Associate Judge George Bridges that investigators located James Price on Thursday and have taken a handwritten statement from him.

Price, whose throat was slashed by Bostic's nephew in 2007, says in the statement that he was at Bostic's house one day about 22 years ago because he was an associate of Bostic's son.

Larue said Price claims he and Bostic's son were in the garage while Bostic was talking to another motorcycle club member inside the house.

Price claims he overhead Bostic tell the other man that on the night of the shooting, Bostic bet Richmond that he could drink an entire fifth of Jack Daniel's whiskey in one drink.

Bostic proceeded to do so, Larue said Price claims, and then asked Richmond to pay off on the wager.

"Our witness says that the defendant told his friend the victim claimed he did not have all the money that he had bet," Larue said. "So the defendant took out his gun and shot the victim."

Bostic's attorney Michael Salvi objected to Price being allowed to testify, saying that he was being brought to the attention of the defense too close to the start of the trial.

Salvi told Bridges there would be no time for the defense team to interview Price before the trial and thoroughly investigate his claims.

Bridges told Salvi he would grant a continuance of the trial date if necessary, but would not bar Price's testimony because the state has the right to continue their investigation of the case.

Larue said Henry Bostic, Robert Bostic's nephew, is currently serving an 18-year sentence for slashing Price's throat during a 2007 argument.

Robert Bostic was charged with Richmond's murder earlier this year after police said four witnesses who originally refused to cooperate with the investigation came forward and named Bostic as the killer.

Bostic's defense team has claimed in earlier hearings that all four of those witnesses deny they made the statements police attribute to them.

Bridges has also given Larue permission to use as evidence some statements attributed to Bostic recorded during phone calls he made from the Lake County jail.

Larue claims the calls were made to members of Bostic's family in which Bostic encourages the intimidation of witnesses in the case.

Salvi said Friday, "There is no indication whatsoever that any witness in this case has changed a story because they were contacted by anyone."

If convicted, Bostic faces up to 60 years in prison.