Local

Johnsburg hires lawyers in Casciaro suit

Sarah Nader- snader@shawmedia.com
Mario Casciaro speaks with Northwest Herald reporter Hannah Prokop at his attorney's office in Downers Grove Thursday, September 24, 2015. Casciaro was released from Menard Correctional Center on Wednesday after Illinois' 2nd District Appellate Court overturned his conviction this month, saying prosecutors failed to prove Casciaro's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Sarah Nader- snader@shawmedia.com Mario Casciaro speaks with Northwest Herald reporter Hannah Prokop at his attorney's office in Downers Grove Thursday, September 24, 2015. Casciaro was released from Menard Correctional Center on Wednesday after Illinois' 2nd District Appellate Court overturned his conviction this month, saying prosecutors failed to prove Casciaro's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

JOHNSBURG – The village’s insurance carrier has hired two lawyers to represent the village and its police chief in a civil lawsuit filed after the sole conviction in a high-profile Johnsburg homicide case fell apart.

Mario Casciaro, 33, sued last month seeking money damages from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, members of the Johnsburg Police Department and the village of Johnsburg. He claims authorities violated his rights when they investigated and later prosecuted him for the killing of Johnsburg teen Brian Carrick.

A jury convicted Casciaro in 2013 and a judge sentenced him to 26 years in prison. He spent 22 months in Menard Correctional Facility before the 2nd District Appellate Court overturned the conviction. Casciaro was released from prison in September 2015.

Johnsburg Village President Edwin Hettermann said the matter was turned over to the village’s insurance carrier at the time. He said any legal costs would be paid for the by the insurance company, not the village’s general fund. Hettermann said he didn’t know the name of the insurance company and directed questions to Village Administrator Claudett Peters. Peters didn’t return two phone messages at Village Hall on Friday.

K. Austin Zimmer and Cynthia Grandfield of Berwyn-based Del Galdo Law Group LLC filed appearances Thursday on behalf of the village and Johnsburg Police Chief Keith Von Allmen. Zimmer, the lead attorney, couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

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 was guilty.

In the lawsuit, Casciaro claims police deliberately withheld evidence related to another suspect that could have helped Casciaro. He also claims that Johnsburg Police Chief Keith Von Allmen diverted the investigation because he was friends with the father of another suspect.

Carrick was last seen Dec 20, 2002, at the grocery store where he worked. The store was owned by Casciaro’s parents.

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