Skip to comments.Suspect had a murder conviction overturned
Posted on 12/05/2006 5:16:17 AM PST by KeyLargo
Daily Herald Suspect had a murder conviction overturned
Like slaying of restaurant manager he's accused of, 1982 case involved strangulation
BY TONY GORDON Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer Posted Monday, December 04, 2006 http://www.dailyherald.com/story.asp?id=256490
The man accused of killing a Lindenhurst restaurant manager last week was once convicted of killing four members of a Chicago family.
But James Ealy's conviction for the 1982 murders in Chicago was thrown out by an appellate court that ruled police acted improperly in questioning him.
Ealy is held without bond in the Nov. 28 strangulation murder of Mary Hutchison, 45, of Trevor, Wis., a manager at the Burger King in Lindenhurst. Police said robbery was the motive for Ealy, a former employee of the restaurant.
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller said Monday he was upset by the way the victims died in both cases brought against Ealy.
"There are disturbing similarities in the previous case and the one we have against the defendant," Waller said. "In both cases, ligature strangulation was the cause of death of the victims."
James Ealy's conviction of murdering four people in 1982 was overturned by an appelate court. (Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago) On Aug. 16, 1982, Chicago police found the bodies of Christine Parker, 33; her daughters Mary Ann, 15, and Cora, 13; and Mary Ann's 3-year-old son, Jontae, in their apartment in the Rockwell Gardens complex.
All four had been strangled. A green cloth found around the neck of Mary Ann Parker was later identified as having come from a pair of green surgical pants.
An autopsy also revealed a length of tan material knotted on her neck under the green cloth.
Ealy, then 17 and a resident of the same building where the Parkers lived, was taken in for questioning the following day.
During the next 18 hours, Ealy was questioned about inconsistencies in what he told police about where he was on the day of the murders and what his mother had told them. He twice consented to a search of his home.
During one of those searches, police recovered a bundle under Ealy's bed containing two lengths of khaki material, a knife with a bone-colored handle, and a pair of green surgical pants.
A khaki trench coat with its belt missing and other knives with bone-colored handles were found inside the Parkers' apartment, police said.
Police said Ealy ultimately confessed he had been drinking with friends on the day of the killings, later went to the Parkers' apartment and flew into a rage when some members made fun of his "red eyes."
When the case went to trial, Ealy denied making the confession or signing the forms that allowed police to search his apartment.
He was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life in prison.
In 1986, the appellate court agreed to review the case and found police had acted improperly by holding Ealy too long without the probable cause to place him under arrest.
The appellate court struck down Ealy's conviction and ordered a new trial. It also ruled the evidence taken from his apartment and his confession could not be used against him.
Without the critical evidence, prosecutors could not re-try Ealy and ultimately dismissed the charges.
No other arrests in the Parker family murders were ever made.
Waller said he reviewed the appellate court ruling that freed Ealy and disagreed with it.
"I believe the court could have found there was probable cause for the arrest established after the questioning began," he said. "They appear to have focused on the length of time he was questioned and ignored other factors of the case."
Court records also show Ealy has convictions in Cook County for sexual assault, unlawful restraint and unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1995 in that case.
Waller, who will ultimately decide if he will seek the death penalty against Ealy for the Hutchison murder, said all facts of Ealy's criminal history will be considered.
He said it was too soon to tell how the Parker family murders will figure into his decision.
"We will obtain the police reports and other information about the 1982 case and review it carefully," Waller said. "If it is appropriate, we will use it in making future decisions."
'He should not have been on the street'
December 5, 2006
BY ERIC HERMAN AND ANNIE SWEENEY Staff Reporters
Two decades before he allegedly murdered Mary Hutchison in a suburban Burger King, James Ealy was convicted of murdering a pregnant woman and three children on Chicago's West Side.
But an appellate court threw out his conviction -- and left prosecutors no evidence to try him again.
"He should not have been on the street," said Brian Telander, who prosecuted Ealy as an assistant Cook County state's attorney. "He was an evil, evil person."
Telander, 54, said he felt "sick" when he heard Ealy had allegedly killed again. "I'm a defense lawyer now, and obviously I recognize that the law has to be followed," he said. "But this was a person that there was just no doubt he was guilty."
Last week, a co-worker discovered Hutchison's body inside a Burger King in Lindenhurst northeast of Waukegan. Hutchison, 45, was found next to an open, empty safe. She had been strangled with the bow tie from her uniform, prosecutors said.
On Saturday, a Lake County judge ordered Ealy held without bond after prosecutors charged him with the murder. Prosecutors said Ealy, who formerly had worked at the Burger King as a maintenance man, killed Hutchison after robbing the restaurant.
Ealy "made incriminating statements" during videotaped questioning, Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller said. And a search of his Lake Villa apartment yielded currency linked to the Burger King robbery, as well as clothes he purportedly wore during the murder.
No probable cause: court
For Telander, hearing how Hutchison had been strangled brought back memories -- horrible memories -- of the Parker case.
On Aug. 16, 1982, police discovered the bodies of Christine Parkerd three children -- Mary Ann, Cora and Jontae -- in a seventh-floor apartment in the Rockwell Gardens housing project. The victims had been strangled, and Jontae, a 3-year-old boy, had been raped. Christine Parker was pregnant.
Ealy, then 17, had been dating 15-year-old Mary Ann Parker. Police questioned him and searched his bedroom, where they found evidence linking him to the crime, including a length of khaki material similar to what was found embedded in the neck of one victim.
During 18 hours of interrogation -- during which Ealy claimed he was deprived of sleep and food -- police say Ealy confessed to the murders. A jury found him guilty, but the Illinois appellate court reversed the verdict.
In an opinion written by Justice James C. Murray, and joined by fellow justices Francis Lorenz and R. Eugene Pincham, the court found Chicago Police lacked probable cause when they took Ealy into custody.
Since the confession and searches of his bedroom stemmed from the faulty arrest, that evidence should have been excluded from trial, Murray wrote. Without that evidence, prosecutors decided not to retry the case.
Cook County Judge Thomas Maloney, who had presided over Ealy's trial, expressed horror when the decision came down.
"Maloney said from the bench that the appellate court should take out billboards warning the people of Chicago that this monster had been let loose," Telander said.
Victim's ex-husband 'stunned'
Maloney was convicted in 1993 of taking bribes to fix cases. Murray died in 1999. Lorenz and Pincham could not be reached for comment.
Grant Nothnagle, Hutchison's ex-husband, said he was "stunned" to learn Ealy had gone free in the 1982 case. "I just hope at this point the system does not allow another loophole like that," he said.
At the time of his arrest in 1982, Ealy was on bond for a rape committed in the same Rockwell Gardens building, Telander said. Catholic Charities bailed him out. The prestigious law firm Jenner & Block represented Ealy on his appeal in the Parker case.
Contributing: Lisa Donovan and Dan Rozek
After committing four murders, this scum was allowed by Cook County judges to be free to murder again.Correction: After committing four murders, this scum was allowed by Cook County scumbag judges to be free to murder again.
Fry this basturd!
Anyone else notice that the 15 year old had a child when she was 12?
"When Ealy's murder conviction was overturned, he was serving a 23-year sentence for a rape. He was paroled in that case in 1993, but was convicted in 1996 of attacking a prostitute on the South Side.
After picking the woman up and paying her $10 for sex, he showed her a gun and put a knife to her side and told her "this is the last day of her life," according to court records. The woman saw a police car, grabbed the steering wheel of Ealy's car and caused a crash, and police arrested him. He was convicted of unlawful restraint and gun possession and sentenced to 10 years. He was paroled in 1999, according to state records."
American court systems idea of justice, "it's not the murders that matter,it's only the technicalities that are important". And another innocent life is ended !!!
The problem I see is easily shown by the above quote, i.e., the judges are NOT identified. When Judges can no longer act anonymously, scum like Ealy will not be out on the streets.
Figures that he was involved in freeing a fellow homey.
(yes, that's derogatory and yeah I meant it, the guy's a 'hate whitey' maggot)
Let me guess, the usuals like the msm Jesse and Al will not come out of the woodwork for this event either.
Who were the "appelate court" judges?
Where are they now?
Has anyone thought to interview them, ask for their comments?
If I was a member of the victim's family, I sure as hell would "interview" them.
when decisions like this are made and the criminals murder and rape with the aid of judges let's expose them... it's easy enough to find names and photos....
I think it would be a public service....
Any Freeper interest???
These judges should be hounded by a mail campaign for their responsibility for this death.
Read it again (see post #12)-- they are named.
See post #14.
He was found guilty in cook County. He was set free to kill again by appellate judges is Springfield.
Catholic Charities using its money to bail out someone arrested for a violent crime? I guess I will think twice about making any donations to them in the future.
The victim in last week's murder was a resident of the same county in which I live. I've had it with the city of Chicago exporting its filth up this way. This whole thing makes my blood boil.
Please read the article.
"In an opinion written by Justice James C. Murray, and joined by fellow justices Francis Lorenz and R. Eugene Pincham, the court found Chicago Police lacked probable cause when they took Ealy into custody.
Since the confession and searches of his bedroom stemmed from the faulty arrest, that evidence should have been excluded from trial, Murray wrote. Without that evidence, prosecutors decided not to retry the case."
Yeah, far better to allow the government to run rough-shod over our rights. No need to worry about Due Process or anything trivial like that. It must be the judge's fault.
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