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Degorski appeals ruling on videotape
By John Patterson | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 7/2/2008 12:06 AM

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SPRINGFIELD - The man charged with seven murders from the infamous 1993 Brown's Chicken killings in Palatine has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to throw out a videotape interview shot after his arrest.

James Degorski's appeal to the state's high court was filed Tuesday and comes in response to an appeals court ruling earlier this year that the video could be used.

In the appeal, Degorski's attorneys argue that he'd last been read his rights 18 hours before investigators began questioning him on videotape. That video begins with an assistant prosecutor summarizing what had been said during those 18 hours and then rereading Degorski his right to remain silent. At that point, Degorski invoked that right.

Initially, the trial judge suppressed the videotape, saying Degorski should have been read his rights again immediately before the taping. Prosecutors appealed, and earlier this year a state appeals court, in a split decision, overturned the order and said the video could be used.

Now Degorski is appealing to the state's high court regarding the use and legitimacy of the video. It could be weeks before the court announces whether it will take the case.

Last year, a jury convicted Degorski's co-defendant, Juan Luna, of the murders of Michael Castro, Lynn and Richard Ehlenfeldt, Guadalupe Maldonado, Thomas Mennes, Marcus Nellsen and Rico Solis. He is serving a life sentence.

News of Degorski filing the appeal was first reported Tuesday by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.