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Broadcast cited in alleged beating of Brown's suspect

By Rudolph Bush

Tribune staff reporter

3:28 PM EDT, July 19, 2002

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Prosecutors have subpoenaed the tape of a radio broadcast in which a suspended Cook County correctional officer is believed to have discussed allegations he struck a jailed suspect in the Brown's Chicken and Pasta restaurant slayings.

Thomas Wilson, 38, of Burbank, appeared before Cook County Judge Joseph Kazmierski today, when prosecutors said they were seeking a copy of the tape of the Mike North Show, broadcast in late May on WSCR-AM 670. Prosecutors did not discuss in court what they believe was said on the show.

Wilson is charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct for allegedly striking James Degorski, one of two suspects in the 1993 killing of seven people at the Brown's in Palatine.

Wilson allegedly hit Degorski on the jaw May 18 in a hall of Cook County Jail. Wilson, who has pleaded not guilty, is suspended without pay, and Sheriff Michael Sheahan has recommended he be fired.

Also at today's hearing, the Cook County state's attorney's office withdrew from prosecuting Wilson, citing a conflict of interest because it is prosecuting Degorski. The Illinois attorney general's office has taken over Wilson's prosecution, officials said.