Testimony continues in police torture trial

June 7, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Former Chicago police commander Jon Burge is accused of lying about torturing suspects in the 1970s and '80s. Prosecutors allege Burge lied on two sworn questionnaires from a civil lawsuit in 2003. In the documents, he was asked about knowledge or participation in torture. He denied either and signed the statements in front of notaries public.

On Monday, jurors heard testimony from two notaries public from Florida. They testified that their notary seal was put on the documents after Burge verified his identity and acknowledged they were true statements.

Jurors also heard from Frances Boatman who testified that her boyfriend Anthony Holmes told her he was tortured in 1973. She said, "They tried to suffocate him with a bag, they shocked him."

Holmes testified on his own behalf on the first day of the trial.

Andrew Wilson also alleged torture by Burge. But Wilson died in prison three years ago while serving a sentence for killing two police officers.

Jurors heard from one of Wilson's attorneys Monday. Dale Coventry was a criminal defense attorney in 1982. Coventry testified that Wilson told him Burge tortured him and Coventry saw the injuries.

"There were injuries to his legs, his chest. The most spectacular injures, of course, were the clip marks on his ears and his nose which he described as being the device that clipped on him while he was being electrically shocked," said Dale Coventry, former attorney for Andrew Wilson

Last week, jurors were shown a photo of Wilson with his face bandaged. Under cross examination, Coventry testified other officers beat Wilson.

Outside court, Coventry said while other officers may have beaten Wilson, Wilson maintained that Burge was responsible for the torture.

"We're the first ones basically to go public with the idea of torture but after fact we discovered that there were people previous and after that had suffered the same the same thing from Jon Burge ," said Coventry.

Testimony from the late Andrew Wilson was read to jurors. In it he described that Burge twice shocked him and burned him on a hot radiator.

More of Wilson's testimony will be read to jurors when the trial resumes Tuesday.

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