A suburban Chicago man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2006 strangulation death of a Lindenhurst restaurant manager.
After three hours of deliberations Friday, James Ealy was convicted of killing 45-year-old Mary Hutchison of Trevor, Wis., during a robbery of the Burger King she managed. After the murder, prosecutors said Ealy stole cash from the restaurant safe and headed to a job in Gurnee.
Lake County prosecutors said telephone records and evidence linked Ealy to the murder. However, defense attorney Keith Grant said investigators uncovered no physical evidence putting Ealy in the restaurant on the day of the murder.
The 48-year-old Ealy was convicted in 1982 in the deaths of a Chicago woman and her three children. An appellate court overturned the conviction on a technicality.