Brown's Chicken Killer Awarded $451K in Civil Rights Case

James Degorski had claimed a Cook County Jail guard beat him in 2002, shortly after his arrest for the 1993 murders at a Brown's Chicken and Pasta restaurant

Sunday, Mar 9, 2014  |  Updated 12:44 PM CDT
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James Degorski Guilty in Brown's Chicken Massacre

NBC Chicago

Life in Stripes: James Degorski, who was convicted of killing seven people in a 1993 incident at a Brown's Chicken in Palatine was spared the death penalty. The jury fell just two votes short of sending him to his end.

Photos and Videos

Brown's Chicken Massacre: 20 Years Later

Seven bodies were found inside a walk-in freezer of a Palatine fast food restaurant on Jan. 8, 1993. Marion Brooks reviews the case.

James Degorski Guilty in Brown's Chicken Massacre

More than 15 years after seven people were brutally murdered inside a Palatine fast-food restaurant, the killer has been found guilty.
More Photos and Videos

Jurors in a federal civil case in Chicago have awarded nearly $500,000 to a former handyman serving a life prison term for killing seven people at a suburban fast-food restaurant.

James Degorski had claimed a Cook County Jail guard beat him in 2002, shortly after his arrest for the 1993 murders at a Brown's Chicken and Pasta restaurant.

Degorski's attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said in a phone interview Sunday that it's not clear her 41-year-old client will ever see any of the $451,000. She says prison officials could try to seize it to pay for Degorski's imprisonment.

Bonjean says she understands some might be upset by the jury's decision. But she says it shows even convicted murders have rights.

Jurors returned with a verdict Friday afternoon after a three-day civil trial in Chicago.

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