January 18, 2022
Crime & Courts

Crime & Courts

Judge dismisses allegations prosecutors intimidated witnesses to testify against Mario Casciaro

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that claimed prosecutors intimidated and harassed a witness into testifying against Mario Casciaro in connection with the 2002 disappearance of Johnsburg teen Brian Carrick.

Judge Frederick Kapala announced the decision Wednesday, noting claims laid out in Shane Lamb’s lawsuit were filed after the statute of limitations was up and didn’t allege that a federal offense had taken place.

“Circumstances more egregious than those alleged in this case have been held to be insufficient,” Kapala wrote in his decision.

In December 2002, 17-year-old Carrick worked at the Val’s grocery store in Johnsburg with Casciaro and Robert Render. Carrick did not work Dec. 20, 2002, but was last seen in the store at 6:45 p.m. that afternoon.

The teenager has not been seen since and is presumed dead. His disappearance remains unsolved.

In September 2017, Lamb sued members of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, Johnsburg Police Chief Keith Von Allmen and the city of Johnsburg.

Lamb claimed his civil rights were violated in connection with his 2010 agreement to testify at Casciaro’s trial. His testimony that Casciaro had asked him to intimidate Carrick into paying a drug debt was a “fabricated” story that prosecutors “fed” him, Lamb said.

He also accused Von Allmen of intentionally pulling over his friends, among other misconduct. The police chief declined to comment on any of the allegations, noting he is involved in a civil lawsuit filed by Casciaro.

Lamb is serving a 20-year sentence for a 2015 weapons conviction. He will be eligible for parole in 2024, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

McHenry County jurors found Casciaro guilty of first-degree murder by intimidation in March 2013 in connection with Carrick's 2002 disappearance. The 2nd District Appellate Court overturned Casciaro's conviction, and he was freed in September 2015.

Prosecutors heavily relied on Lamb's testimony that he likely threw the punch that killed the 17-year-old, claiming Casciaro used Lamb as the "muscle" or a "henchman." Lamb later recanted his testimony, claiming the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office made him testify.

“The lawsuit and all allegations contained therein were absurd,” McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said in a statement. “We maintained at the outset that this lawsuit was frivolous and retaliatory, and see the ruling today as confirmation of that position.”

Reached by phone Thursday, Lamb’s attorney, Paul De Luca, said he knew the statute of limitations had expired, but believed Lamb’s suit would be allowed certain exemptions.

“I don’t know yet what our next step is, if we’re going to appeal or not. I don’t know yet,” he said.