Defense Rests in Brown's Chicken Trial

Defense hammers away at lack of physical evidence

By BJ Lutz
|  Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009  |  Updated 10:00 PM CDT
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Defense Rests in Brown's Chicken Trial

James Degorski

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The defense in the second trial surrounding the 1993 murder of seven people in a Brown's Chicken restaurant in Palatine rested on Tuesday after five days of testimony.

James Degorski could face the death penalty if convicted. His friend, Juan Luna, was convicted two years ago and sentenced to life in prison.

The defense's case centered on the lack of physical evidence, and they tried to raise doubt among jurors, citing the actions of investigators who obtained false confessions from two people years before Degorski's 2002 arrest, the Chicago Tribune reported.

They also spent a great deal of time on a bloody shoe impression found outside the freezer where five of the victims were found. A retired Cook County Sheriff's lieutenant was adamant the impression wasn't there when he arrived on the scene, the Daily Herald reported.

The state will present its rebuttal to the defense's case beginning Wednesday. Closing statements are expected to take place next week.

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