Prosecution Rests in Brown's Chicken Trial

In surprise move, prosecution rests without playing taped confession

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Verna Sadock
    Former Assistant State's Attorney Michael McHale testifies in trial against James Degorski, accused of killing seven people in a Palatine Brown's Chicken restaurant in 1993, on Sept. 14, 2009.

    The prosecution in the Brown's Chicken murder trial made a surprise move on Monday, resting its case without playing the taped confession of James Degorski, one of the men s accused of killing seven people in the Palatine restaurant in 1993.

    The prosecution had previously spent a great deal of effort trying to get the tape admissable, but instead relied on the testimony of then-Assistant State's Attorney Michael McHale, who took the confession after his arrest in 2002.

    Witness Says Degorski Killed "Just for Fun"

    [CHI] Witness Says Degorski Killed "Just for Fun"
    A Cook County paramedic said James Degorski wasn't high or on drugs when he killed seven people in a restaurant in 1993. (Published Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009)

    On the witness stand, McHale was asked if he believed the confession was reliable.

    "After a three hour conversation about how he killed seven people, yes I felt it was reliable," he said. 

    A Cook County jail paramedic who spoke with Degorski after his arrest also testified.

    Alesia Hines said she asked him how he could kill seven people, and if he was high on drugs when he did it.

    She said he responded saying "No... just for fun."

    The daughter of the restaurants owners who were killed in the slayings also took the stand. Dana Sampson testified that she was scheduled to work the night of the killings, but switched with her mother.

    Tuesday the defense will bring their witnesses to the stand. That is expected to take at lease a week. Degorski is charged with seven counts of first degree murder and could be sentenced to death if convicted. Juan Luna was convicted of the crimes in 2007.