A jury found Olaska guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon, but not guilty of the attempted murder of Willie Hayes and Rafael Castenada.
“This was a senseless act of violence that was totally preventable and our hearts go out to Shaun Wild’s family and all of his relatives,” said Bob Berlin, DuPage County State’s Attorney.
The case went on for over a week, and included testimony from Willie Hayes and Rafael Castenada, who were both stabbed that night. The state painted the picture of a rejected man whose anger escalated to murder.
Olaska took the stand in his own defense, claiming that he felt threatened, and lashed out to protect himself from the bigger guys at the bar around him.
“We’re disappointed in the verdict, we respect it and we understand the jury’s feelings. Were a little confused because the way we analyzed the case we thought if the not guilty verdicts came in it would follow to the murder charges,” said Ernie DiBenedetto, Defense Attorney. “We have some issues, we’re going to keep fighting, we’ll press for an appeal and we’ll go from there.”
Video footage from surveillance cameras throughout the bar, along with a large number of eyewitnesses that were there that night played key roles in the state’s case.
The verdict was a long time coming for Wild’s parents, who had been waiting three years for justice for their son.
“Thank the jury for seeing clearly, a lot of testimony a lot of that had to be done and they did it professionally and they came up with a verdict that was right and just,” said Bruce Wild, Shaun’s Father. “Today became about Shaun Wild for the first time in about three years and we’re really happy and proud that they came to that verdict and God bless Shaun.”
Olaska now returns to DuPage County Jail, until his next court appearance on April 9. He could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Naperville has changed the liquor laws and rules drastically since the stabbing death of Shaun Wild and other alcohol related incidents in the downtown area. The new rules include restrictions on closing time, re-entry and shot purchases, as well as beer sizes and more security staff training.
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