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Retrial on murder charge slated to start in October

WOODSTOCK – A retrial for Mario Casciaro on a murder charge has been set for Oct. 22.

Casciaro, 29, is charged with murder in the 2002 death of 17-year-old Brian Carrick. Casciaro was tried in January, but a hung jury led to a mistrial. He has been free on bond since March 2011.

The second trial was set for July 30, but attorneys still are waiting for results from additional forensic testing. Of 12 blood samples collected, three are so small that testing will use them up, Casciaro’s attorney Brian Telander said.

The samples come from the back area of what was then Val’s Foods, where Carrick was last seen alive about 6:45 p.m. Dec. 20, 2002. They include samples taken from the interior side of an exit door, five from cardboard boxes found in a trash bin outside the store, and others from a cooler door handle.

The prosecution’s main witness, Shane Lamb, testified during the first trial that the cooler was where he hit Carrick, who “went down.”

Lamb said Casciaro had told him to “talk” to Carrick about a $500 drug debt. After the confrontation in the cooler, Lamb said Casciaro told him to leave, and that he doesn’t know what happened after that.

Lamb, who worked at Val’s with Casciaro and Carrick, was granted immunity for his testimony, but was sentenced to six years in prison on a separate drug charge. He since has been released on parole.

Three unidentified prints – two fingerprints and one palm print – also will be tested before the Casciaro’s second trial.

Also Thursday, Telander received subpoenaed material regarding the death of Robert Render, who died last month from an apparent drug overdose. Render at one time was charged with concealing a homicide in Carrick’s disappearance, but the charge eventually was dropped.

Although Render did not testify in Casciaro’s first trial, Telander said he planned to call him in the second trial and question him about why his blood was found at the scene.

An interim status date for Casciaro is scheduled for Aug. 24.

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