WAUKEGAN – A suburban Chicago judge has sentenced a Lake Villa man to life in prison for the 2006 strangulation death of a Lindenhurst restaurant manager.
Jurors found 48-year-old James Ealy guilty in May of killing 45-year-old Mary Hutchison of Trevor, Wis. Prosecutors say Ealy strangled Hutchison with her Burger King uniform bow tie and stole $1,700. Prosecutor Jeffrey Pavletic told the judge on Wednesday that Ealy is "despicable."
Ealy spoke before the sentence was given, denying he committed the crime and saying police "railroaded" him. Ealy's public defender said he plans to appeal the sentence.
Ealy was convicted in 1982 in the deaths of a Chicago woman and her three children. An appellate court overturned the conviction on a technicality.