The shootings deaths of a Chicago police officer and a former Chicago Housing Authority officer were cold-blooded, "execution-style" slayings, prosecutors said Monday during opening statements in the murder trial.
Timothy Herring, 24, is accused in the deaths of 46-year-old Michael Flisk, a police evidence technician, and 44-year-old Stephen Peters. Prosecutors accuse Herring of shooting both men in the head once, then shooting them again after he saw one of them move.
Prosecutors say Herring broke into Peters' car and shot the men after he found out Flisk found fingerprints. They say Herring wanted to avoid returning to prison.
"He shoots each man one time in the head as they lay on the ground -- execution-style, cold-blooded murder," Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Mahoney told jurors.
Herring, then a 19-year-old parolee, is charged with murder and burglary in the Nov. 26, 2010, deaths of Flisk and Peters in a Chicago alley. Prosecutors said Herring, who was on parole at the time for a 2007 armed robbery conviction, opened fire when he returned to the scene of the burglary he'd committed hours earlier and heard Flisk say, "I've got a good fingerprint."
Defense attorney Julie Koehler said in her opening statement prosecutors have no substantial physical evidence linking Herring to the crime. She said those witnesses who are expected to testify against Herring were either motivated by a reward or were saving themselves from an obstruction of justice charge.
"$20,000 can get a lot of people thinking," Koehler said.
Peters' mother and a neighbor, Will Turner, testified Monday to hearing two initial shots followed by a pause and then two more shots.
Peters' mother called 911 after the first two shots. The call, played in court, captured the sound of the final two shots.
Prosecutors said they plan to call 35 to 40 witnesses during the trial.