CHICAGO (CBS) — More than 10 years after teenager Brian Carrick disappeared, the man convicted in Carrick’s death was sentenced to 26 years in prison Thursday.
Last spring, a jury convicted Mario Casciaro, 30, of orchestrating the killing.
On Thursday, Casciaro’s family walked out of court in shock.
“He shouldn’t have even gotten one year,” said Casciaro’s sister, Julie. “He’s innocent.”
They are supporters of a convicted murderer.
“My son in innocent,” said Casciaro’s mom, Joanne. “There is a big cover up.”
His family points to the fact that there is no physical evidence, no DNA, no witnesses surrounding Carrick’s murder.
Indeed, Carrick’s body was never found, although prosecutors say his blood was found in a cooler and trash compactor inside a grocery store, five days before Christmas in 2002.
It took three trials to get a conviction, with prosecutors saying Casciaro hired another co-worker to kill the victim over a drug debt.
“I’m just glad it’s over,” said Carrick’s father, William.
He was asked if the 26-year sentence went far enough.
“I think 20 would have been fine, he’s going to hell,” he said. “Everything I’ve heard about these maximum security prisons is bad. I guess he’s earned his place.”
If they have their way, the family of Casciaro say he won’t stay there long.
They have hired attorney Kathleen Zellner to handle the appeal.
His family is also offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the victim’s body.