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Village of Palatine statement on Luna verdict
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Published: 5/11/2007

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The village of Palatine issued the following statement Friday regarding the guilty verdict in the 1993 Brown's Chicken murders:

The Village of Palatine is pleased with the jury's guilty verdict of Juan Luna, convicted in the Brown's Chicken murder trial. The verdict brings relief to the Village and the families and friends of Lynn Ehlenfeldt, Richard Ehlenfeldt, Michael Castro, Lupe Maldonado, Thomas Mennes, Marcus Nellsen and Rico Solis, as they have endured one of the worst tragedies a family could possibly go through. We cannot imagine how difficult it has been for each of these families as they have patiently waited over 14 years for a conviction in this case. Our thoughts and prayers have been with them over the years and especially during the past few weeks as we all awaited word on the outcome of the trial.

Almost exactly 5 years ago today, Juan Luna and James Degorski were arrested in this case that began tragically on January 8, 1993. The conviction of Juan Luna brings to fruition the primary goal from the beginning and that was for justice to be served. In a 2001 press release regarding the ongoing investigation, it was stated, "Palatine Police and the law enforcement community have done and continue to do everything in their power to bring the killer or killers to justice."

Although there has been a great deal of attention over the years on the investigation, arrest, prosecution and trial, we as a community will never forget the focus behind the countless hours devoted to this case and the desire to never give up. It was for the victims. May our memories of Lynn Ehlenfeldt, Richard Ehlenfeldt, Michael Castro, Lupe Maldonado, Thomas Mennes, Marcus Nellsen and Rico Solis, never be forgotten. While we commend the wisdom of the jury's decision, we're reminded to keep praying for the surviving family members as they continue to cope with the loss of their loved ones.