DNA evidence scrutinized in Casciaro murder trial
Defense attorneys spent Wednesday trying to poke holes in the way evidence was collected and tested by police hours after they believe Brian Carrick was murdered near a walk-in cooler of a Johnsburg grocery store in 2002.
DNA technicians from the Illinois State crime lab and police officers from the Johnsburg Police Department and Illinois State Police took to the stand during the second day of court testimony Wednesday in the murder trial of McHenry resident Mario Casciaro to explain why certain blood samples were collected in the grocery store hours after Brian Carrick's apparent death. His body was never found.
They also explained where the blood came from, who logged and tested the evidence, and why other samples were not tested during the second day of testimony at the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.
Carrick was last known to be seen alive at about 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2002, at Val's Foods, a grocery store in Johnsburg where he worked with Casciaro.
Casciaro, 28, was charged in 2010 with two counts of first-degree murder in the case.
Casciaro and his family have since opened Val Foods at the corner of Rollins Road and Grand Avenue in Fox Lake. The family was in court on Wednesday morning, along with other friends including nationally known UFC fighter Clay Guida, a former friend of Carrick.
The former Johnsburg store has since reopened under new ownership and a different name, but is still stands directly across the street from the house where Carrick lived.
Shane Lamb, considered the prosecution's number one witness, is expected to take the stand and testify against Casciaro Thursday morning. Lamb, who is in prison serving a 6-year drug sentence, is expected to testify that Casciaro called him to the grocery store to scare Carrick, but Carrick ended up dead.
Lamb has been granted immunity by the state in exchange for his testimony.
Casciaro's attorney, Brian Telander, hinted he will attack Lamb's credibility, specifically Lamb's extensive criminal history and the statements he made to police both before and after the turning over evidence.
Technicians testified Wednesday that blood collected in and around the cooler and a trash compactor at the grocery store was tested to be human remains and 99.99 percent positive they were from a child born to the Carricks. Though the technicians also testified that DNA sampling is unable to determine if it was Brian Carrick's blood that was tested or that of a sibling.
In addition, Telander pointed out routinely that crime lab supervisors who had signed off on the reports testified in court on Wednesday, but prosecutors never brought the actual technician -- who is working in Indianapolis -- to testify. The trial is expected to last through next week.