As expected, a witness testified Tuesday he heard Robert Bostic brag that he had killed a man over a drinking bet.
However, James Price appeared to shock prosecutors when he testified that Bostic said the murder had happened in 1989, seven years after the crime for which Bostic is on trial.
Bostic, 71, is charged with the June 25, 1982 shooting death of Carlton Richmond, 31, in a Round Lake Beach garage converted into a clubhouse for the Wheelmen motorcycle club.
Price, 42, said he was a friend of Bostic's son and was at the Bostic home in Round Lake during the summer he turned 20.
Robert Bostic was talking to another motorcyclist, Price said, and he heard Bostic tell the other biker about the crime.
"He (Bostic) said he had just killed someone and he had thrown the gun off the Grass Lake (Road) Bridge," Price said. "He said he had made a bet over a bottle of whiskey."
Assistant State's Attorney Ken LaRue had called Price to the witness stand, believing he was going to testify that the conversation between Bostic and the other biker was about an event far in the past.
But under cross-examination by Bostic's defense attorney Joseph Salvi, Price said Bostic had said the killing had "happened the night before or a few nights before" the conversation took place.
"That would make it 1989, wouldn't it," Salvi asked Price, and Price agreed with the attorney.
Also during Salvi's cross-examination, Price admitted he had been sentenced to probation and four months in work release in July after being convicted of felony domestic battery.
But Price admitted prosecutors had agreed to terminate the case, ending the probation and jail sentence and freeing Price from any obligations to the court, in exchange for his testimony.
In response to a question from LaRue, Price said his agreement with prosecutors would hold only if he testified truthfully.
In other testimony Tuesday, a former Round Lake Heights police officer testified Bostic appeared to admit his role in the crime during a conversation with him in 1983.
John Tesh said he spoke with Bostic at a baseball park where Tesh was a coach of a youth team. Tesh said he was the president of a motorcycle club known as the Wheelers before joining the police department.
Tesh said he told Bostic he had heard Bostic had been involved in the death of "The Pizza Man," which Tesh said was a nickname for Richmond.
Tesh said Bostic replied "(Stuff) happens." Tesh said he reported the conversation to his superiors in the Round Lake Heights Police Department.
Under cross-examination by Bostic attorney Michael Salvi, Tesh said he had recently gone to the Round Lake Heights Police Department to retrieve the reports about that conversation and had been told the file had been destroyed.