In 1993, 7 people were shot to death in a robbery of the Brown’s Chicken and Pasta restaraunt in Palatine, Illinois. The victims included the owners, Richard E. Ehlenfeldt, 50, and his wife, Lynn W., 49, five employees: Guadalupe Maldonado, 46, Michael C. Castro, 16, and Rico L. Solis, 17; and Palatine residents Thomas Mennes, 32, and Marcus Nellsen, 31. They had all been shot multiple times with some victims having bullet wounds to their hands and were found in both the walk-in freezer and cooler 5 hours after the stores normal closing time.
In March of 2002, Anne Lockett implicated her former boyfriend, James Degorski, and his associate, Juan Luna, in the crime. Police used a DNA sample from Luna and matched it DNA left on some partially eaten chicken confiscated during the initial investigation and has been in a freezer for the last 9 years. The trial has been delayed for several years, but has since underway with Anne Lockett taking the stand yesterday and providing details on what supposedly happened in the restaurant that night as described by Juan Luna.
“Juan described how he slit the throat of a woman who made him mad. Something was wrong with the safe, and he called her a [expletive],” she said, holding her left hand out to imitate for jurors a person slashing with a knife.
For full coverage of the trial, the Daily Herald has a lot of details (including crime scene walk-through and victim details) and is has been following the case from the beginning.