The Illinois State Crime lab is testing evidence in a decade-old case as the defense and prosecutors prepare for the second trial of a man charged in the slaying of a teenage stock-boy at a McHenry County grocery store.
Twelve blood stains, two finger prints and a palm print are being tested for the new jury trial of Mario Casciaro, 29, of Johnsburg, now scheduled for Oct. 22.
Casciaro is charged with the murder of Brian Carrick, who worked at a Johnsburg store owned by Casciaro’s family.
The first trial, in January, ended in a hung jury.
The second trial had been scheduled to begin July 30, but a McHenry County judge on Thursday moved it back because DNA testing on the new evidence — including finger prints found on a bleach bottle inside the cooler where Carrick was last seen — is not yet complete.
Prosecutors allege that Carrick, whose body has never been found, was murdered after being beaten by Shane Lamb at the direction of Casciaro.
Following a hearing before McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Sharon Prather, defense attorney Brian Telander said he is having the additional blood and prints analyzed because in the first trial it was “revealed that the crime lab had neglected to analyze these samples.”
“We just feel that it’s important ... to have all the evidence analyzed for DNA because DNA is so important these days,” Telander said, citing the advancements in analyzing such evidence since 2002.
“They have the ability to do things now they couldn’t do 10 years ago, and I want it done,” he said.
The blood samples were found in and around the cooler, near the store's back exit, and on cardboard found in a garbage dumpster behind the store.
Telander wants the DNA tested against Casciaro, Carrick, Lamb and others tied to the case, including Robert Render. In the previous trial the defense had connected Render to the crime scene through DNA evidence found in the cooler and near the back entrance of the grocery store.
Render, who died of a drug overdose last month, did not testify in the first trial but would have been called as a defense witness in the second trial to explain why his blood was found at the scene, Telander said.
If the blood and prints do not match anyone previously tied to the ongoing case it would then be run through the DNA data base.
Casciaro, who was present in court with his parents and older brother, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder with intimidation and unlawful restraint.
He is accused of setting into motion events that led to Carrick’s death.
Prosecutors have said that Casciaro told Lamb to scare Carrick into turning over drug money he owed Casciaro.
In the previous trial Lamb testified he was just supposed to scare Carrick but things got out of hand when he punched Carrick who then fell to the ground unconscious.
In exchange for his testimony against Casciaro, Lamb has not been charged in the Carrick case. He also received a lighter sentence on an unrelated drug charge for his testimony. Lamb was released from the Illinois Department of Corrections in May.
Telander also subpoenaed Johnsburg Police and other investigators for interview notes taken during Lamb’s questioning.
Both sides are scheduled to return to court for a status hearing on Aug. 24, when attorneys hope to have results of the DNA evidence.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun