Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, October 4, 2023 | Back issues
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‘This Just Doesn’t Feel Right’

CHICAGO (CN) - A man who killed seven people in 1993 was awarded $451,000 by a jury on claims he was beaten by a Cook County Jail guard - but whether he will ever get the money remains to be seen.

James Degorski is serving life in prison for stabbing and shooting two restaurant owners and five workers in a botched robbery of a suburban Chicago restaurant in 1993.

Degorski, now 41, claimed a jail guard punched him and broke his cheekbone and eye socket shortly after his arrest in 2002.

Degorski was awarded $451,000, but it is unclear whether he will ever see it. Prison officials could seize it to cover the costs of Degorski's incarceration, The Associated Press reported.

The guard accused of beating Degorski could also file an appeal. The guard's attorney, John Winters Jr., told the AP that he will look for other legal means to make sure Degorski doesn't see the money.

Families of Degorski's victims were unhappy with the jury's decision.

"If broken bones are worth a half million, then how much are seven lives worth?" said Ann Ehlenfeldt, a sister of one of the victims, according to the AP. "This just doesn't feel right."

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