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updated: 1/30/2012 5:24 PM

Casciaro murder case to go to jury Tuesday

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  • Brian Carrick

      Brian Carrick

  • Mario Casciaro

      Mario Casciaro

 
 

Both sides rested their cases Monday in the trial of Mario Casciaro, a McHenry man accused of first-degree murder in the 2002 death of 17-year-old Brian Carrick over a drug debt.

The body of the Johnsburg High School student has never been found.

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The first-degree murder charges against Casciaro, alleging that he or someone for whose conduct he was legally responsible, struck Carrick on the head and killed him on Dec. 20, 2002, while intimidating him and holding him against his will.

That someone is Shane Lamb, 27, of Lake Bluff, who was promised immunity and a shorter prison sentence for cocaine possession in exchange for his testimony.

McHenry County prosecutors have argued that Casciaro, now 28, and Lamb pushed Carrick into a walk-in cooler at Val's Foods in Johnsburg to scare him into paying Casciaro back for a quarter pound of marijuana.

Lamb testified last week that he lost his temper and punched Carrick, who fell to the concrete floor in the cooler. Lamb said Casciaro told him to leave, and Lamb says he doesn't know what happened afterward.

Other witnesses have said they talked with Casciaro months and years after and he implicated himself. However, those supposed confessions were short on details and made when the witnesses were drunk or high on drugs.

Defense attorney Brian Telander did not call any witnesses in defense of Casciaro and he did not take the stand himself. Much of Casciaro's defense was through Telander attacking the credibility of witnesses, especially Lamb, who has been to prison several times and provided investigators with several false leads before the immunity deal.

Closing arguments before McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather are set to begin Tuesday morning. Jurors do not have the option of convicting Casciaro of a lesser charge, such as manslaughter.

In 2008, Prather acquitted Casciaro halfway through a trial that accused him of lying to a grand jury that was investigating Carrick's disappearance.

Telander on Monday asked Prather to dismiss this case due to lack of evidence as well. Prather refused, saying testimony that Lamb pushed Carrick into the cooler by his face was evidence of intimidation and although Carrick could have ran out the other door of the cooler, he was not free to leave.

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