A federal trial over allegations that former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge and other detectives covered up information that would have exonerated a man who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit was postponed today at the last minute.
U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo made the surprise announcement at about 10:15 a.m. as a jury was about to be picked.
Bucklo said the trial was postponed until Dec. 17 “due to issues that need to be resolved.”
Over the weekend, attorneys for Burge and the four detectives asked the judge to hold settlement discussions with the lawyers on both sides of the case. Attorneys for Alton Logan opposed any delay in the trial.
The trial stemming from Logan’s lawsuit would mark the first time in two decades that Burge, the disgraced former police commander, will testify in court about one of the numerous civil lawsuits filed against him.
Though he is expected to plead the Fifth Amendment, he will testify by way of videoconferencing from a federal prison in North Carolina, where he is serving a 4 1/2-year sentence for lying about torture and physical abuse by his crew of detectives.
Logan, though, isn’t alleging he was beaten into confessing to murder by Burge and his men, but rather that they concealed evidence, even from Cook County prosecutors, that would have exonerated him.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times