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Illinois Supreme Court: State can't appeal Johnsburg murder conviction reversal

Mario Casciaro was convicted in 2002 death of Brian Carrick, but ruling was overturned in September

The Illinois Supreme Court has denied the state's request to appeal the reversal of the murder conviction of Mario Casciaro, according to statements from Casciaro’s attorney and the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Casciaro, once convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Brian Carrick, was in prison for about two years before being released in September. Carrick last was seen Dec. 20, 2002, at the Johnsburg grocery store where he worked, which also was owned by Casciaro’s parents.

A ruling Sept. 17 from the 2nd District Appellate Court overturned Casciaro's conviction because it said evidence was so lacking and improbable that the state failed to prove Casciaro’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An order from the same court granted Casciaro’s freedom.

After the Illinois Supreme Court's decision Wednesday, a release was issued from the office of Casciaro's attorney, Kathleen Zellner.

“The Casciaro family and Kathleen Zellner are very pleased with the Court’s decision,” the release stated.

The Casciaro family and Zellner could not be reached for additional comment Wednesday night.

A statement from McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi said the office was "troubled that the Appellate Court’s flawed decision, usurping the role of 12 McHenry County jurors who found Mr. Casciaro guilty after hearing all the evidence, will stand without being reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court."

He added that the prospect of finding the body of Carrick has become more dim.

Assistant State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally said Wednesday night he agreed with Bianchi's statement, and did not have any further comments. He said he could not yet speak to what the next step may be for the state's attorney's office.

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