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Ikegwuonu trial on hold

SYCAMORE – The trial for NFL football player Jack Ikegwuonu was put on hold Tuesday, to allow prosecutors time to call an out-of-state witness to the stand.

Ikegwuonu, 23, faces charges of residential burglary and criminal trespassing for what police and prosecutors say was a home invasion in November 2006. His trial began Monday but was granted a recess Tuesday until next week, when a former tenant of the townhouse in question should arrive from California to testify, DeKalb County Assistant State’s Attorney Victor Escarcida said.

Charges stem from Nov. 26, 2006, when Jack Ikegwuonu, a defensive back who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, was in town from Wisconsin visiting his twin brother, Bill.

Prosecutors have said the two broke into a townhouse rented by Safyian Baba in the 800 block of Fotis Drive around 2 a.m. and were discovered in the residence, possibly holding an Xbox game console, according to police. The men then ran from the home, said two police officers, police said.

The defense argues that the men were at the townhouse in search of a party.

Bill was found not guilty of both charges during a separate trial in April, but Jack Ikegwuonu's trial continued Tuesday until recess began around 11:30 a.m.

Prosecutors called two witnesses to the stand Tuesday — DeKalb Police Sgt. Tom Petit, who fingerprinted the scene, as well as Edward Rottman, a fingerprint examiner with the Rockford-based Illinois State Police crime lab.

Officers responding to the scene were under Petit's supervision on the evening of the incident, he said, and he helped collect evidence, particularly fingerprint samples taken from the Xbox. The prints were sent to Rockford for analysis along with cards showing the fingerprints of both Ikegwuonu brothers.

The sample prints were, "not suitable for comparison," Rottman said Tuesday, because various environmental factors — for example, dust or wind — affected the surface of the Xbox and prevented a viable print.

"The (fingerprint) lifts contained did not have significant characteristics that would allow me to compare them to the cards," he said.

The prosecution argued that because of that fact, Jack Ikegwuonu could not be excluded from the scene.

Ikegwuonu's trial is scheduled to resume July 16 at 10 a.m.

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