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Brown's Chicken Murder

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  • Brown's Chicken Murder

    This is an old murder case from 1993 that was never solved but has been re-opened over the past few years because of new evidence. The new evidence being one of the suspect's former girlfriend went to authorities in 2002 or so, 9 years later. My question is....shouldnt she be just as guilty for knowing and not telling authorities?

    http://www.nbc5.com/news/11418368/de...l?dl=mainclick

    Trial Begins In 1993 Palatine Murders
    One Of Two Suspects Goes On Trial

    POSTED: 6:49 am CDT March 28, 2007
    UPDATED: 6:58 am CDT March 28, 2007

    CHICAGO -- Jury selection was set to begin Wednesday in the trial of an appliance installer accused of the gruesome 1993 murders of seven people at a Brown's Chicken & Pasta restaurant in suburban Chicago.

    Juan Luna was just 18 when he and a friend allegedly walked into the Palatine restaurant at closing time on Jan. 8, 1993, and carried out the killings during a robbery, prosecutors said.

    The bodies of the victims -- some of whom were stabbed and all of whom were shot -- were found in a walk-in freezer and a cooler.

    Killed were restaurant owners Richard and Lynn Ehlenfeldt, and employees Michael Castro, 16, Guadalupe Maldonado, 46, Thomas Mennes, 32, Marcus Nellsen, 31, and Rico Solis, 17.


    The jury selection process will begin Wednesday morning and could take up to two weeks to complete, attorneys in the case said.

    Luna was working for an appliance dealer in Crystal Lake and saving money to buy a house when he was arrested in 2002 and accused of taking part in the robbery and killings. His only prior arrest was for bouncing a $100 check at a muffler shop.

    Luna's former classmate James Degorski, who was 20 at the time of the murders, also was arrested in 2002, in Indianapolis. Authorities claim Degorski's revolver was used to shoot the victims.

    Both men have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and are being tried separately. Degorski's trial date has not been set.

    Luna, now 33, married and the father of a 9-year-old boy, has spent five years in jail awaiting trial, but is confident he will be acquitted, defense attorney Clarence Burch has said.

    Investigators were under intense pressure to solve the case for years. Arrests were made but the trail of evidence repeatedly led elsewhere.

    Luna, a former employee of the restaurant, was among the hundreds of people questioned by police in the weeks after the robbery. But it wasn't until nine years later, when Degorski's former girlfriend and another woman came forward with information about the murders, that the men became suspects.

    Investigators took a DNA sample from Luna that linked him to a chicken meal authorities say was ordered at 9:08 p.m. the night of the murders. It was the last meal ordered that night, and had sat untested in a crime lab freezer for several years.

    Defense attorneys are expected to try and cast doubt on the reliability of the evidence, alleging that the chicken was mishandled. They also will point to a confession made by a man who later was excluded as a suspect, Burch has said.

  • #2
    We currently house both of these jackasses. As a side note, we lost an excellent Officer due to Degorski. He had an altercation with Degorski and broke his jaw. Criminal charges were brought against the Officer and the Department moved to fire him. I sat in at the trial. The Officer's attorney picked apart Degorski's tale proving that the way he said it happened was impossible. The Officer was exonerated of all charges. Cook county still managed to fire him. We miss him to this day. He is a good man.

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    • #3
      Five years in jail awaiting trial???
      That's just wrong I don't care what he's accused of.

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      • #4
        I agree. Its a huge strain on the Sheriff's Department and the taxpayers. Unfortunately, for a trail of this magnitude it is not unusual here in Cook County. I recently ran into an inmate with a 1999 book date.

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        • #5
          I guess it doesnt matter to them in this case because the guy is probably going to get life if he's found guilty.

          Comment

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