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Murder witness charged with theft

Published: Saturday, March 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

McHENRY – A woman who once said she became the getaway driver in the 2001 murder of a McHenry restaurant owner was back in McHenry County Jail this week.

Susanne Dallas DeCicco, 30, of McHenry is charged with theft for allegedly stealing miscellaneous clothing from the Kohl’s in McHenry and other items from Meijer. Because of a previous conviction in a 2004 case that led to a three-year prison sentence, she is facing felony charges.

DeCicco also is on parole after a 1-year sentence on a drug case, which also included retail theft and other charges that were dropped as part of a plea deal.

DeCicco was a key witness for the defense of Kenneth E. Smith, who was convicted of murder for the third time a year ago in the attempted armed robbery and shooting death of Raul Briseņo.

Briseņo owned Burrito Express on Route 120 in McHenry and was shot after he chased out two men who tried to rob him. Smith was found guilty twice for Briseņo’s death, but both convictions were overturned on appeal.

Smith’s third trial was delayed several times because DeCicco couldn’t be found. She later turned up in the jail after Lake in the Hills police charged her with stealing various items from Dominick’s.

DeCicco told police on two occasions that her boyfriend and cousin were responsible for the slaying, using her stepfather’s gun to commit the crime and then jumping into her car. But when called to the stand, she denied any involvement and said she had made it all up.

Smith was sentenced to 67 years in prison. His case is still on appeal.

DeCicco remained in jail Friday afternoon, needing $3,000 to post bond.

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