Daily Herald
DuPage State's Attorney Joe Birkett's comments on Dugan verdict
Published: 11/11/2009 4:21 PM

The death penalty is reserved for the worst of the worst.

Today, a DuPage County jury unanimously agreed that Brian Dugan, a serial rapist and vicious killer, deserved the ultimate penalty.

State's Attorney Joseph Birkett stated "Brian Dugan chose to become who he is, a sadistic rapist and serial killer. Jeanine Nicarico's family finally has true answers and a realistic step towards closure."

Joe Birkett thanked the jury of seven women and five men as well as the four alternate jurors for their dedicated service. Their verdict was a result of thorough and thoughtful deliberation which is what every lawyer, especially in death penalty trials, hopes for.

State's Attorney Birkett also thanked Judge George Bakalis for his professionalism and fairness that he is known for. State's Attorney Birkett especially thanked all the victims and their families for their support and encouragement.

Birkett stated, "The survivors are my heroes, because through their testimony, the jury got a glimpse of Brian Dugan up close and personal. Through their testimony, the jury understood what Jeanine, Melissa and Donna must have gone through before Brian Dugan took their lives from them."

Birkett thanked the countless law enforcement officials, lawyers, forensic experts, and private citizens from many different states who helped us achieve justice for Jeanine.

State's Attorney Birkett stated, "This verdict today would not have been possible without the efforts of a great team that includes Mike Wolfe, Chief of Criminal Bureau, Assistant State's Attorneys Romas Mockatis, Kasia Malkinska, Chris Zaruba, Investigators Dave Hamm and Bob Guerrieri, Victim Witness Coordinator Terrie Jacoby, Investigators and evidence handlers Bill DeWitt, Rachel Sedlacek and Abby Lauer. This team reviewed and organized hundreds of thousands of pages of transcripts, police reports, lab reports, written correspondence, photographs, diagrams, audio and video tapes and legal documents spanning four decades. On top of that, we were provided expert reports from the defense as late as October 6, 2009, which required extensive research and expert analysis in order to meet the challenges presented by the defense team. There are people like Jeff Kendall, former Assistant State's Attorney and many others like him who made significant contributions to our efforts."

Birkett thanked them all.

"Most of all," State's Attorney Birkett said, "I thank the families of all of our team members for the days and nights that they spent alone because we were working on the case."