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Crime & Courts

Mario Casciaro requests shorter prison sentence

WOODSTOCK – In court documents, an appellate attorney for Mario Casciaro says the Johnsburg man was unfairly sentenced because he refused to admit his guilt.

Casciaro, 30, maintains he had nothing to do with the 2002 death and disappearance of 17-year-old Brian Carrick.

Casciaro was sentenced last month to 26 years in prison for first-degree murder.

Casciaro’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, is asking the judge to reduce his sentence to the minimum 20 years, saying the court cannot impose a greater sentence because the defendant maintains his innocence. Prosecutors had asked for a 30-year prison sentence.

“Your honor, I sit here before you a man who has been found guilty by a jury, but I am a man who is factually innocent,” Casciaro said at his sentencing hearing last month.

A number of character witnesses testified at the hearing on Casciaro’s behalf, describing him as compassionate and caring.

“A person who is caring and compassionate would stand up and take responsibility for their acts. A person who is caring and compassionate would let the Carrick family know what has happened to Brian so that they can have a proper burial for him,” McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather said at the sentencing hearing.

Carrick last was seen Dec. 20, 2002, walking into the former Val’s Foods Grocery store that Casciaro’s parents owned and where Carrick worked.

Prosecutors have said that Casciaro sent a third man, Shane Lamb, to intimidate Carrick into paying a drug debt. Therefore, Casciaro legally was responsible for Carrick’s death. Lamb testified that he likely delivered the fatal punch.

The matter is set before Prather on Dec. 13.

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