Witness: Man in murder trial warned he makes ‘people disappear’
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter email@example.com March 28, 2013 1:40PM
Mario Casciaro | Sun-TImes Media file photo
Updated: May 1, 2013 2:28PM
Years after Brian Carrick vanished, Mario Casciaro allegedly warned former friend Christopher Amen not to anger him because “I make people disappear.”
Another one-time friend testified Thursday that Casciaro told him the McHenry County teen’s 2002 disappearance and presumed death was “an accident.”
“It was an accident and things just got out of hand,” Alan Lippert claimed Casciaro told him in 2006 after a night of heavy drinking.
McHenry County prosecutors are trying the 29-year-old Casciaro for a second time, alleging he orchestrated Carrick’s death by ordering convicted felon Shane Lamb to collect a small drug debt from the teen.
Carrick’s body has never been found, though drops of his blood were discovered in a cooler and back hallway at the Johnsburg grocery store where the 17-year-old worked with Casciaro and Lamb.
Casciaro’s first trial last year ended in a hung jury, prompting his re-trial.
Amen— a convicted drug dealer whose nickname is “Priest”— and Lippert were among the final witnesses to be called by prosecutors in an effort to tie Casciaro to the teen’s disappearance.
Amen testified Casciaro threatened him with Carrick’s fate while they argued in a McHenry tavern about five years after the teen vanished.
“I told him, ‘you know you’re not a tough guy, don’t talk to me like that,’” Amen testified.
Casciaro had a quick answer, Amen said.
“His rebuttal was, “I make people disappear,” said Amen, a 28-year-old convicted drug dealer who formerly sold marijuana with Casciaro and was given immunity for his testimony.
Lippert told jurors he asked Casciaro in 2006 about Carrick’s disappearance after the two had spent the night drinking together.
Casciaro claimed Lamb “was just supposed to threaten” Carrick, but that the confrontation “got out of hand,” Lippert, now 30, testified.
But Lippert admitted not contacting authorities for months, then offering different statements to investigators about what Casciaro told him was done with Carrick’s body. He told some that Casciaro said his relatives had dismembered and moved the teen’s body to Iowa, but told others Lamb had moved Carrick’s remains.
And Lippert acknowledged Casciaro said he wasn’t present when Carrick was slain.
Lamb has testified he punched Carrick unconscious in the store cooler while trying to collect drug money for Casciaro, who was also in the cooler.
Lamb, who also was given immunity for his testimony, contended he doesn’t know what happened to the teen because Casciaro quickly ordered him to leave.