Shane Lamb rejects state offer; trial set

WOODSTOCK – Standing before the judge and eyeing at the prosecutor who once offered him immunity on first-degree murder charges, Shane Lamb called the attorney a "bully."

"You're trying to bully me into taking [a plea deal for] something I didn't do," Lamb said, looking directly at Assistant State's Attorney Michael Combs.

Lamb, 30, rejected an offer from Combs, who also is chief of the State's Attorney's Criminal Division. A trial date was set for Nov. 3.

He's accused of breaking into a McHenry condominium in April and stealing a safe containing 12 guns, ammunition and other valuables. The guns have never been recovered.

Prosecutors offered Lamb a deal to enter a blind guilty plea to aggravated possession of a stolen firearm in exchange for dropping a slightly more serious weapons charge.

Aggravated possession of a stolen firearm carries a sentencing range of six to 40 years, but Lamb would be eligible for day for day credit. In other words, if McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather sentenced him to the maximum, he'd be eligible for release after 20 years.

Agreeing to the deal could have potentially shaved 5 1/2 years off the maximum sentence on the charge of an armed habitual criminal.

Though a sentence would ultimately be up to Prather, the judge can consider Lamb's criminal history, which includes attempted murder as a juvenile, and various drug and battery charges. Prather also presided over Mario Casciaro's murder trials, in which Lamb's testimony played a large part in convicting Mario Casciaro of first-degree murder.

In that case, McHenry County prosecutors, including Combs, offered Lamb full immunity from murder charges and a reduced sentence on drug charges if he provided testimony that in 2013 ultimately led to a murder conviction on the decade-old murder case.

Lamb testified that in 2002, Casciaro sent him to collect on a drug debt from 17-year-old Brian Carrick. Lamb punched the teen, and that's the last time anyone has seen him. Carrick's body never was recovered and he is presumed dead.

Casciaro is currently serving a 26-year prison sentence for the murder. His family has retained high-profile attorney Kathleen Zellner for his appeal.

In the latest case, authorities don't believe Lamb acted alone to remove the 800-pound safe from John Farenzena's condo. Part of the deal rested on Lamb providing attorneys information on other individuals believed to be involved in the alleged residential burglary and the whereabouts of the guns.

Friday's courtroom outburst was rare for Lamb, who never has made eye contact with Farenzena, or Bill Carrick, Brian's father. Both attend Lamb's every court appearance, which typically are brief.

Lamb remains in custody of the McHenry County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bond.

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