Burge Accuser Made Up Stories: Convicted Felon

Monday, Jun 21, 2010  |  Updated 6:00 PM CDT
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Burge Accuser Made Up Stories: Convicted Felon

Verna Sadock

Convicted felon Ricky Shaw testified Monday that detainees at the Cook County Jail used to get together to make up stories about being beaten by former Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge.

A convicted felon testified Monday that detainees at the Cook County Jail used to get together to make up stories about being beaten by former Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge.

Ricky Shaw, who is at the tail end of a 50-year sentence for armed robbery, testified Monday at Burge's perjury and obstruction of justice trial. 

Shaw testified that former gang leader Melvin Jones used to organize men to make up stories about Burge and his officers.

"[Jones] said he was never abused. He never got electroshocked, but that were other people who had already made the claim.  He said he had lawyers and everybody dying to get on the case, that there were movie deals and book deals," Shaw said, dressed in an orange jumpsuit with shackled hands and feet hidden from jurors.

On cross examination, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Weisman tried to discredit Shaw, citing numerous times that Shaw had been disciplined for lying to authorities at various prisons around Illinois.

Also on the stand Monday was former Cook county State's Attorney Paul Kaymen, who took statments from Burge accuser Anthony Holmes in the case of the murder of Joe Murphy.

Kayman told the jury that he saw nothing out of the ordinary when he went to Area Two with a court reporter to take the statements.

"Did he ever indicate to you he was electrocuted," asked Burge's attorney, William Gamboney.

"No," Kayman replied.

He also testified that Holmes never said that anyone put a bag over his head.

Earlier today, Burge -- who is facing trial on federal perjury and obstruction of justice charges tied to the abuse allegations from Jones' and four others -- finished testifying in his own defense.

Weisman spent most of an hour going over Burge's interrogation techniques and questioning him about how much he lied to suspects to obtain confessions.

Burge had testified that detectives lie to suspects all the time, but, under Weisman's cross-examination today, he said he would lie "occasionally" to suspects -- and asked Weisman why he was making a big deal over a common legal practice.

"Are you proud of your reputation of taking the law into your own hands?" Weisman asked Burge.

"That's like asking when you stopped beating your wife," Burge replied. "I'm proud of my reputation -- but not for taking the law into my own hands, counselor."

Weisman then asked Burge if that was true, why did he name his boat "Vigilante."

Burge -- who said his first two boats were named "Seaspray" and "Sealove" -- said he got the name "Vigilante" from a computer generated list of names that hadn't been used for boats.

As he did last week, Burge denied ever beating criminal suspects repeatedly Monday morning.

Burge's trial is expected to last through the end of the month.

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