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Attorneys: Suppress Confession In Lindenhurst Burger King Murder

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James Ealy

James Ealy is charged with the 2006 murder of Mary Hutchison, the manager of a Burger King in Lindenhurst. (Credit: CBS)

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — Attorneys for the Lake Villa man, charged with the murder of a fast food restaurant manager, want an alleged admission of the crime thrown out.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports, just before James Ealy, now 46, was arrested, he allegedly told a member of the Major Crimes Task Force to tell the woman’s husband he was sorry for what he did, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

His attorney filed a motion requesting that the statement as well as other evidence be suppressed, on the grounds that physical force, threats and coercion were used to obtain it, the Tribune reported.

Ealy is charged in the Nov. 27, 2006, slaying of Mary Hutchison, 45, of Trevor, Wis. Prosecutors said Ealy strangled Hutchison with her uniform bow tie at a Burger King on Grand Avenue in Lindenhurst.

Ealy had been an employee of the Burger King, and prosecutors said shortly after the murders that he had left on good terms. He had gotten a new job at a McDonald’s in Gurnee.

But investigators said after he saw Hutchinson’s car outside the restaurant, where he was once employed, he decided to rob it, the Tribune reported.

Ealy’s attorneys have argued previously that police unlawfully confronted him just hours after the murder, and used illegally-obtained evidence to pursue charges against him.

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty in the case – a decision that pleased Hutchison’s family at the time.

“In the Bible, it says an eye for an eye, a leg for a leg, a life for a life,” Hutchison’s husband, Ken, said last year.

But prosecutors are now seeking life in prison for Ealy, since Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, the Daily Herald reported last month.

Prior to being charged with Hutchison’s murder, Ealy had faced unrelated charges of rape and use and possession of a firearm, among others.

The Lindenhurst Burger King closed about four months after the murder.

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