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Burge Trial: The Prosecution Rests

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jun 16, 2010 2:20PM

The prosecution rested yesterday in the perjury and obstruction of justice trial of former Chicago Police commander Jon Burge after a day that included testimony from alleged robbery suspect Shadeed Mu’min. Mu'min testified of an interrogation session in October 1985 in which he said Burge pointed a revolved loaded with a single bullet at his head, playing a game of Russian Roulette, and suffocated him with a typewriter cover to get a confession in the alleged robbery and attempted murder of a Brown's Fried Chicken worker. The session was one that retired officer Michael McDermott testified about earlier this week in which he did some back-pedaling from previous testimony. Still, as John Conroy points out at Vocalo, there were consistencies between the two testimonies.

In that testimony, McDermott had refused to say that the piece of plastic he saw in Burge’s hand was placed over Mu’min’s head, insisting that it was simply placed over Mu’min’s face. Today, Mu’min indicated that the plastic had not been put over his head and held around his neck, as one might expect, but demonstrated how it had been pressed down over his face to cut off his air. Thus McDermott and Mu’min are consistent.

Mu'min also faced tough cross-examination from defense attorney Richard Beuke, including a grilling over details, accusations of collaborating with other suspects who had accused Burge of torture, and even Mu'min's contacting Burge weeks after the alleged torture for help getting his impounded car back. Speaking of the defense, they'll begin calling their witnesses this morning, including former state's attorney Dean Bastones who participated in the confessions from the accusers. Closing arguments could come as early as Monday.