Crime & Courts

Shane Lamb released from prison early on weapons charges

Lamb had claimed he was coerced into falsely implicating himself and Mario Casciaro in the murder of 17-year-old Brian Carrick, of Johnsburg

The man who avoided any penalty for his alleged connection to the disappearance and presumed 2002 murder of Johnsburg teen Brian Carrick has been released from prison on an unrelated theft conviction, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Shane Lamb, 37, was released on Friday from Murphysboro Life Skills Re-Entry Center, Illinois Department of Corrections spokesperson Lindsey Hess said.

In March 2015, Lamb was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a charge of aggravated possession of a stolen firearm after pleading guilty to stealing a safe containing a dozen firearms, 10,000 rounds of ammunition, silver, a watch, a half-carat diamond and memorabilia. Other charges stemming from that arrest were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.

Lamb served six years of that 20-year term. He had originally been scheduled to be up for parole 2024, according to the IDOC website.

Lamb’s attorney Paul De Luca said Lamb was released early because his sentence was required to be served only at 85%, plus he earned credit for good behavior, attending classes and participating in drug and alcohol treatment. He also received credit for 11 months served in McHenry County jail prior to his sentencing.

“Shane got a job, he is going to get his driver’s license and is trying to get an apartment,” De Luca said Tuesday. “He got out really through participating in the prison, in various programs to help himself. He always expressed that he is never going back to prison. I really think he turned the corner, and he is going to work hard now to not abuse drugs or alcohol, which has always been the source of his problems.”

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said “it’s a disgrace” that the IDOC is putting “cost savings and handwringing over COVID ahead of the safety of residents” in letting Lamb out of prison early.

A convicted felon with a long history of arrests in McHenry County, Lamb provided key testimony against his former co-worker, Mario Casciaro, who was found guilty of murder by intimidation in Carrick’s presumed death after two trials.

At both trials, Lamb testified that Casciaro ordered him to confront Carrick, 17, over a pot-dealing debt Carrick owed. Lamb said he punched Carrick, delivering the blow that likely killed him. Carrick’s body has never been found but his blood was in and around the produce cooler at the grocery store.

Lamb later recanted his testimony on a national TV show and in a sworn statement, and in 2017, he sued members of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, Johnsburg Police Chief Keith Von Allmen and the city of Johnsburg, claiming rights were violated in connection with his 2010 agreement to testify at Casciaro’s trial.

That lawsuit was dismissed by a judge in 2018.

Lamb was never charged with having any connection to the Carrick case.

Carrick, Lamb and Casciaro all worked at what was then Val’s Foods in Johnsburg. The grocery store was owned by Casciaro’s family.

In 2013, Casciaro was sentenced to 26 years in prison for Carrick’s murder, but his conviction was overturned and he was released in 2015. The Illinois Supreme Court decided not to hear prosecutors’ appeal in 2016.

Casciaro received a $50,000 settlement from McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office. However, the office declined to provide Casciaro with an official Certificate of Innocence and has stood behind its case against Casciaro.

Casciaro also settled with the village of Johnsburg for an undisclosed amount for failure to intervene and misconduct.

Another employee of the grocery store, Robert Render Jr., was named as the possible killer in Casciaro’s lawsuit. Render never was charged in the case and died in 2012 before Casciaro’s second trial.

Casciaro, 38, who always maintained his innocence in the Carrick case went on to become a Chicago-based defense lawyer specializing in civil rights, including claims of wrongful convictions. He also works with the Cook County Public Defender’s Office in the post-conviction unit.

“I hope that he has been rehabilitated from his time in the Illinois Department of Corrections,” Casciaro said Tuesday.