WOODSTOCK – In sentencing Shane Lamb to 20 years in prison on weapons charges, neither defense attorneys nor prosecutors mentioned the teenager Lamb has twice admitted killing.
Lamb has spent about a year in the McHenry County Jail, so with day-for-day good conduct credit he could be released after about nine years served on the aggravated possession of stolen firearms sentence. He faced up to 40 years behind bars.
“What you did to your good friend is unforgivable, Shane,” McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather said.
Prather often referred to Lamb by his first name, a sign of her previous dealings with the 30-year-old. Prather presided over the Mario Casciaro murder trial, a case for which Lamb's testimony helped send Casciaro to prison for 26 years.
Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Zalud wouldn’t comment outside the courtroom on why Lamb’s testimony in the Casciaro murder trial was never mentioned at Thursday’s sentencing hearing.
Lamb received full immunity from murder charges for his testimony against Casciaro in the 2002 disappearance of Brian Carrick. Carrick was 17 years old when he disappeared from the Johnsburg grocery store where he worked with Lamb and Casciaro. His body never was found but he is presumed dead.
Lamb has said that he threw a punch that likely killed Carrick, and that Casciaro sent him to “talk to” Carrick about a drug debt.
Lamb has since recanted that entire testimony, stating in a sworn affidavit that Assistant State's Attorney Michael Combs put him up to it. Combs denies that he coerced Lamb into testifying.
Though there was no mention of the Carrick case on Thursday, Lamb’s defense attorney, Paul DeLuca, introduced the 1999 attempted murder conviction that first sent Lamb to juvenile prison at 14 years old. Lamb has since made two more trips to the Illinois Department of Corrections on battery and drug charges.
In that case, Lamb and another, Bobby Sterling, went to rob a Hostess store in McHenry. Sterling fired the gun inside the store, and bullet fragment struck a woman’s hip. DeLuca pointed out that though Lamb was not the shooter, he was sentenced to three years in a juvenile detention facility in St. Charles.
Prather – who also presided over Lamb’s juvenile case – said “you may have been dealt a bad situation when you were sent to the Department of Corrections at 14.”
Sterling got two years of boot camp.
“[Lamb] went from a good kid – never been in trouble, never had [any] contact with police – but coming out of [juvenile detention] he turned into a hardened person,” Lamb’s father, Dan Sinkovitz, said.
In asking Prather for leniency, Lamb admitted that he started drinking and using drugs after juvenile detention.
“My whole life was changed by that experience,” Lamb said. “… I went in a 14-year-old boy and came out a hardened teenager.”
In asking for a lesser sentence, DeLuca also pointed to Lamb’s “dysfunctional” upbringing. He lived with his father for a number of years, and his mother suffered from mental health issues. Lamb’s brother committed suicide in his 20s, and Lamb lost an infant to sudden infant death syndrome.
“I’m asking you not to give up on him entirely,” DeLuca said.
Zalud asked the judge to sentence Lamb to 40 years in prison, saying Lamb was going to “spend his life in prison by piecemeal.”
“Every time you think Shane Lame has hit rock bottom, you realize we haven’t even gotten close to scraping the surface of the bottom,” Zalud said. “… If anybody deserves the maximum sentence, it’s Shane Lamb. He’s a career criminal, and we ask that you treat him like a career criminal.”
Prather also ordered Lamb to pay $15,000 in restitution to Farenzena.
Farenzena talked about the anxiety he's felt since the crime.
“I no longer watch the local news,” he said. “Anytime there’s a shooting I think that it might somehow be connected to my guns.”
Three guns have since been recovered, and all three had been used in the commission of crimes, Zalud said. Two were used in gang activity in Chicago, and a third in an armed robbery in Elk Grove Village.
Nine guns remain unaccounted for.