May 11,2007 00:00
PALATINE, Ill. - An appliance installer was convicted Thursday of killing the owners of a suburban Chicago chicken restaurant and five of their employees in 1993.
Juan Luna, 33, was found guilty on all accounts, WMAQ-TV reported. Deliberations began Wednesday and were interrupted Thursday morning when the judge dismissed one juror and substituted an alternate.
The bodies of Richard and Lynn Ehlenfeldt and their employees were found in a freezer at the Brown's Chicken Restaurant in Palatine 14 years ago.
During the trial, Cook County prosecutors said Luna and an alleged accomplice, James Degorski, intended to kill everyone inside when they entered the restaurant on Jan. 8, 1993.
"He knew they were going to kill," Assistant State's Attorney Scott Cassidy said during closing arguments. "It was 40 minutes of fun for him and 40 minutes of terror for those people in the restaurant."
Prosecutors said DNA found on a chicken dinner at the restaurant showed Luna was there. But defense lawyers argued the DNA evidence was erroneous and Luna's confession coerced.
Degorski is still scheduled for trial.
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