Degorski: Model Inmate

Monday, Oct 5, 2009  |  Updated 3:18 PM CDT
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Degorski: Model Inmate

NBC Chicago

James Degorski's mug shot.

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As jurors continue to learn more about the man they convicted of killing seven people in a Palatine restaurant 16 years ago, correctional officers at the Cook County Jail say James Degorski has been a model prisoner in the seven years he's been in custody.

The four correctional officers were the first witnesses called Monday by defense attorneys. Degorski's lawyers are hoping to persuade jurors not to sentence their client to death and instead give him life in prison without possibility of parole.

"He's humorous, talkative," Officer Jose Reyes told the Daily Herald. "Compared to the other inmates, he has never given me a problem."

Jurors took less than two hours last week to deliberate in the 1993 Brown's Chicken murder case before unanimously finding Degorski guilty.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

All of the correctional officers described Degorski as an unusually cooperative and even docile inmate.

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