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Who's who in the Brown's murders

Marcus Nellsen


Guadeloupe Maldonado


Thomas Mennes


Michael Castro


Richard Ehlenfeldt


Lynn Ehlenfeldt


Rico Solis


James Degorski


Juan Luna



Anne Lockett


Eileen Bakalla


Martin Blake


Jack McGregor


John Koziol


mbl, Mark Black

Bob Haas


Jerry Bratcher


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Published: 8/2/2009 12:01 AM | Updated: 8/2/2009 12:16 AM

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Sixteen years ago, what started as an armed robbery ended in the murders of seven people at Brown's Chicken & Pasta in Palatine. In 2007, Juan Luna of Carpentersville was convicted. On Thursday, jury selection begins in the trial of the second suspect, James Degorski.

The victims

• Michael Castro, 16, of Palatine. Worked cash register alongside classmate Rico Solis. Aspired to join the Marines.

• Lynn Ehlenfeldt, 49, of Arlington Heights. Co-owned restaurant with husband, Richard. Three daughters.

• Richard Ehlenfeldt, 50, of Arlington Heights. Former political aide who co-owned restaurant with wife, Lynn. Three daughters.

• Guadalupe Maldonado, 47, of Palatine. Fry cook, had recently immigrated from Mexico. Married with three sons.

• Thomas Mennes, 32, of Palatine. Chicken breader. Had a twin brother, Jerry. Single.

• Marcus Nellsen, 31, of Palatine. Manager in training. Divorced with a 4-year-old daughter.

• Rico Solis, 17, of Arlington Heights. Philippine-born cashier. Worked counter with high school classmate Michael Castro.

On trial

• Jim Degorski, now 36, of Indianapolis. Charged in Brown's murders with former Fremd High School classmate Juan Luna. Faces death penalty if convicted. Single.


• Juan Luna, now 35, of Carpentersville. Charged in Brown's murders with former classmate Jim Degorski. Worked briefly for the Ehlenfeldts. Serving a life sentence at Stateville Correctional Center, Joliet. Married, one son.