James Ealy murder trial begins in woman's 2006 Burger King death
May 21, 2013 (WAUKEGAN, Ill.) -- Opening statements have begun in the murder trial of James Ealy, the man accused of strangling Mary Hutchison during a 2006 robbery at a Lindenhurst Burger King.
"There is a name for what this defendant did and it's called first-degree murder," said Jeffrey Pavletic, assistant state's attorney.
It's taken more than six years for this case to come to trial. Ealy,48, is charged with the murder of Hutchinson, a Burger King manager, on November 27, 2006, at the restaurant chain's Lindenhurst franchise.
"You will receive no meaningful evidence that connects James to the crime," said Keith Grant, Lake County public defender.
During today's opening statements, prosecutors and defense attorneys laid out their case.
Pavletic says Ealy, a former Burger King employee, went to the restaurant the day of the murder intending to rob it. In the process, he stabbed Mary Hutchison with a flat head screwdriver, then choked her with the bowtie she wore as part of her uniform.
"She had been stabbed in the back as if she had been poked, 'Open the safe! Open it!'" said Pavletic.
Miles Ten Eyck was the first EMT on the scene.
"She was lying on her stomach, head to the side, some blood pooled by her neck," said Ten Eyck.
Even though it's the first time cameras have been allowed inside a Lake County courtroom, ABC7 Chicago was not allowed to videotape seven out of the eleven witnesses who testified today, among them Hutchison's husband, who struggled to keep composure on the stand.
local, michelle gallardo
- 4 charged in Elizabeth auto body shop robbery 30 min ago
- AccuWeather: Clear and chilly
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- DISH Network signs on for WATCH ABC app
- Bergen County officer injured in Lodi crash 2 min ago
- Photos: Lodi crash injures police officer
- Scooter rider fatally shot in South Ozone Park
- Missing autistic boy found in Brooklyn
- NYPD policy revised; officers should take stairs in fire
- New York-bound bus in wreck in Maryland
- Suspect in custody in attempted baby abduction
- Photos: Images of Sea Isle City fire
- South Korea ferry captain arrested; death toll at 32
- Weekend subway changes affecting 11 lines
- Bergen County officer injured in Lodi crash
2 min ago