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In The Shadow Of Blago, Burge Trial Continues

By aaroncynic in News on Jun 8, 2010 7:30PM

The Blago trial isn't the only show in town. Still lingering in the former governor's shadow is the Jon Burge trial. Testimony in the trial of former police commander John Burge continued this week with a federal jury hearing statements from several of Burge’s victims, including the deceased Andrew Wilson, who spent 30 years in jail for the murder of two Chicago Police officers. The statements read were from Wilson’s 1989 lawsuit against Burge by FBI Agent Brian Butler. Wilson’s statement details his interrogation by Burge and the “Midnight Crew,” who beat and electrocuted into a confession for the murders of William Fahey and Richard O'Brien. He died in 2007.

Even though Burge’s defense counsel objected strongly to the use of Wilson’s testimony, stating that Wilson’s demeanor couldn’t be replicated, they too relied on posthumous statements. Burge’s defense argued that Wilson self inflicted some of his wounds and the rest was done by now deceased transport officers William Fahey and Richard O’Brien.

Last week, the jury heard testimony from Melvin Jones, who described four days of physical and psychological torture by Burge. The Tribune reports Jones told jurors “I told him he can't do me like this. He said, 'Who's gonna tell?' He looked at (another detective in the room) and said, 'Do you see anything?' And (the detective) just looked up at the ceiling."

Finally, Burge’s defense lost a few potential witnesses, with Judge Lefkow ruling that several retired police officers could claim the fifth amendment. Prosecutors hope to have their case finished by the end of this week.

For additional reading, the Chicago News Coop visited Area 2, Burge's old beat, and came away with a wide range of reactions to Burge.