[Hpn] Guilty verdict in slaying of homeless man

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Fri, 21 Dec 2007 23:13:29 -0500


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Guilty verdict in slaying of homeless man
  By Art Barnum | Tribune staff reporter=20
  December 21, 2007=20
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/northwest/chi-adamodec21,1,25861=
08.story?ctrack=3D1&cset=3Dtrue

In his second murder trial in less than a year, a former Wayne man was =
convicted Thursday of bludgeoning a homeless man with a tire iron for $8 =
and dumping the body in a DuPage County forest preserve.

Luigi Adamo Jr., 26, of Chicago was convicted by a jury that deliberated =
for eight hours over two days, following four weeks of testimony, before =
reaching a unanimous verdict on first-degree murder charges about 2 p.m. =
Thursday.

In Adamo's first trial in May for the Oct. 28, 2000, murder of John =
Conrad, 31, whose family lived in Schaumburg, the jury was deadlocked =
after 20 hours and three days of deliberations. In the second, jurors =
were overwhelmingly convinced of Adamo's guilt because of key pieces of =
evidence, prosecutors said.



On Thursday, Adamo, who was 19 when the crime occurred, wept as he =
hugged his mother, Cheryl, before the jury entered the Wheaton =
courtroom. As the verdict was read, he stared blankly ahead as his =
parents and about a dozen friends and family openly wept.

Sheriff's deputies asked several of them to leave the courtroom because =
of the emotional outbursts.

Claudia Hornback, the victim's mother, smiled broadly as the verdict was =
read and began hugging and thanking the police officers who had worked =
on the case, and mouthing "thank you" to the jury.

Judge George Bakalis ordered Adamo's $500,000 bail revoked, and Adamo =
was taken into custody. Defense attorney John Donahue said he would =
appeal.

On Jan. 31, Bakalis will hear a presentencing report and set a =
sentencing date. Adamo faces 20 to 60 years in prison.

"The police never gave up, the Conrad family never gave up, and the time =
has come for justice," said DuPage Assistant State's Atty. David Bayer.

Adamo was accused of picking up Conrad in the parking lot of a local =
restaurant, driving him to Pratt's Wayne Woods under the guise of =
getting him illegal drugs, then beating him with a tire iron. The crime =
scene was about 2 miles from Adamo's home.

He was arrested in July 2003 after three former friends admitted either =
participating in the incident or hearing the defendant brag about it.

Sarah Haggard, one of the former friends, testified that she had heard =
Adamo brag about the crime before the body had been discovered and =
reported in a local newspaper. Saying she wanted to clear her =
conscience, she told her father in 2003, and he asked her to tell =
police.

Haggard persuaded Jason Reardon, her former boyfriend, to confess his =
role to police. He admitted being with Adamo the night of the murder and =
accompanying him to the woods, standing next to him when the fatal blows =
were struck. Reardon accepted a 19-year prison sentence for armed =
robbery and agreed to testify against Adamo.

Eric Ewing, who was with Adamo and Reardon at the forest preserve and =
testified against Adamo, admitted driving the car when Conrad picked up =
and dropped off the victim. But Ewing declined to walk into the woods, =
he testified.

Defense attorneys claimed that the three former friends were all liars, =
either trying to get back at Adamo or trying to gain favor with police =
for their own criminal problems.

After the verdict, Assistant State's Atty. Paul Marchese said several =
jurors told him a key factor in their decision to convict was a secretly =
recorded phone conversation between Adamo and Reardon. In it, Adamo =
denies having specific knowledge of the crime but tells Reardon not to =
worry because "if [police] knew what was going on, it would be over. =
Everything is going to be cool."

Jurors were also convinced by prosecution evidence showing Adamo's =
fingerprints on Ewing's spare tire.

----------

abarnum@tribune.com=20

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<H1>Guilty verdict in slaying of homeless man</H1>
<DIV class=3Dclear></DIV>
<DL class=3Dbyline><SPAN class=3Dstory-byline>By Art Barnum =
</SPAN><SPAN>|</SPAN>=20
  <SPAN class=3Dstory-titleline>Tribune staff reporter</SPAN> </DL>
<DL class=3Dbyline></DL>
<DL class=3Dbyline></DL>
<DL class=3Dbyline><SPAN class=3Dstory-dateline>
  <DD>December 21, 2007</SPAN> </DD></DL>
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<P id=3Dstory-body><!-- START LEAD -->In his second murder trial in less =
than a=20
year, a former Wayne man was convicted Thursday of bludgeoning a =
homeless man=20
with a tire iron for $8 and dumping the body in a DuPage County forest=20
preserve.<BR><BR>Luigi Adamo Jr., 26, of Chicago was convicted by a jury =
that=20
deliberated for eight hours over two days, following four weeks of =
testimony,=20
before reaching a unanimous verdict on first-degree murder charges about =
2 p.m.=20
Thursday.<BR><BR><!-- END LEAD --><!-- START REST -->In Adamo's first =
trial in=20
May for the Oct. 28, 2000, murder of John Conrad, 31, whose family lived =
in=20
Schaumburg, the jury was deadlocked after 20 hours and three days of=20
deliberations. In the second, jurors were overwhelmingly convinced of =
Adamo's=20
guilt because of key pieces of evidence, prosecutors said.<BR><BR></P>
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<P id=3Dstory-body2>On Thursday, Adamo, who was 19 when the crime =
occurred, wept=20
as he hugged his mother, Cheryl, before the jury entered the Wheaton =
courtroom.=20
As the verdict was read, he stared blankly ahead as his parents and =
about a=20
dozen friends and family openly wept.<BR><BR>Sheriff's deputies asked =
several of=20
them to leave the courtroom because of the emotional =
outbursts.<BR><BR>Claudia=20
Hornback, the victim's mother, smiled broadly as the verdict was read =
and began=20
hugging and thanking the police officers who had worked on the case, and =

mouthing "thank you" to the jury.<BR><BR>Judge George Bakalis ordered =
Adamo's=20
$500,000 bail revoked, and Adamo was taken into custody. Defense =
attorney John=20
Donahue said he would appeal.<BR><BR>On Jan. 31, Bakalis will hear a=20
presentencing report and set a sentencing date. Adamo faces 20 to 60 =
years in=20
prison.<BR><BR>"The police never gave up, the Conrad family never gave =
up, and=20
the time has come for justice," said DuPage Assistant State's Atty. =
David=20
Bayer.<BR><BR>Adamo was accused of picking up Conrad in the parking lot =
of a=20
local restaurant, driving him to Pratt's Wayne Woods under the guise of =
getting=20
him illegal drugs, then beating him with a tire iron. The crime scene =
was about=20
2 miles from Adamo's home.<BR><BR>He was arrested in July 2003 after =
three=20
former friends admitted either participating in the incident or hearing =
the=20
defendant brag about it.<BR><BR>Sarah Haggard, one of the former =
friends,=20
testified that she had heard Adamo brag about the crime before the body =
had been=20
discovered and reported in a local newspaper. Saying she wanted to clear =
her=20
conscience, she told her father in 2003, and he asked her to tell=20
police.<BR><BR>Haggard persuaded Jason Reardon, her former boyfriend, to =
confess=20
his role to police. He admitted being with Adamo the night of the murder =
and=20
accompanying him to the woods, standing next to him when the fatal blows =
were=20
struck. Reardon accepted a 19-year prison sentence for armed robbery and =
agreed=20
to testify against Adamo.<BR><BR>Eric Ewing, who was with Adamo and =
Reardon at=20
the forest preserve and testified against Adamo, admitted driving the =
car when=20
Conrad picked up and dropped off the victim. But Ewing declined to walk =
into the=20
woods, he testified.<BR><BR>Defense attorneys claimed that the three =
former=20
friends were all liars, either trying to get back at Adamo or trying to =
gain=20
favor with police for their own criminal problems.<BR><BR>After the =
verdict,=20
Assistant State's Atty. Paul Marchese said several jurors told him a key =
factor=20
in their decision to convict was a secretly recorded phone conversation =
between=20
Adamo and Reardon. In it, Adamo denies having specific knowledge of the =
crime=20
but tells Reardon not to worry because "if [police] knew what was going =
on, it=20
would be over. Everything is going to be cool."<BR><BR>Jurors were also=20
convinced by prosecution evidence showing Adamo's fingerprints on =
Ewing's spare=20
tire.<BR><BR>----------<BR><BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:abarnum@tribune.com">abarnum@tribune.com</A>=20
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