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Logan Square murder case goes to judge

Defendant Kirk Tobolski leaves court Tuesday. | Keith Hale~Sun-Times

Defendant Kirk Tobolski leaves court Tuesday. | Keith Hale~Sun-Times

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Updated: October 25, 2011 12:30AM

Kirk Tobolski was infuriated that Brendan Scanlon and his roommate roughed up his friend.

So when he saw Scanlon pinned on a sofa struggling with another rival in a Logan Square alley, Tobolski took the switchblade he received for his birthday and plunged it into the popular street artist’s chest, leaving the man affectionately known as SOLVE lying on the pavement like trash, Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.

“I’ll kill you and your family” Tobolski threatened Scanlon’s friend Joe Depre before fatally attacking Scanlon on June 14, 2008, Assistant State’s Attorney Andreana Turano said in her closing arguments in Tobolski’s bench trial.

“This is not a fight with fists,” Turano said, noting that Scanlon, 24, and Depre were outnumbered by Tobolski and his “gang” of friends who descended on the pair on bicycles and a moped near Lyndale and Palmer streets.

But Tobolski’s attorney Rick Beuke said it was Scanlon who behaved like a “thug,” initiating the brawl by beating up a friend of Tobolski’s — a man Scanlon and his roommate believed broke their apartment window at a party six months earlier.

Scanlon and his roommate hid behind garbage cans until Depre came to tell them the coast was clear, according to court testimony.

However, Tobolski and his friends were soon driving into the alley to avenge the assault. It did not scare Scanlon and Depre, Bueke said. They were ready to fight and punched two of their opponents off a moped, sparking another melee, the defense attorney said.

Tobolski’s DNA was not found on the knife and none of the prosecution’s witnesses saw Tobolski, 27, actually stab Scanlon, Bueke said.

Bueke maintained his client was innocent, but if he were to be found guilty of anything, it should be involuntary manslaughter, not murder.

Turano brushed off Bueke’s arguments, stressing that the police found the murder weapon on a nearby garage roof where Tobolski said he threw it.

Judge Thomas Hennelly is scheduled to issue a verdict on July 22.

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