WEST CHICAGO – Three reputed members of the Satan Disciples gang have been charged in the murder of a rival gang member found Sunday morning in the front lawn of a West Chicago home, officials said.
Jonathan Jimenez, 19, of Aurora, Alejandro Martinez, 17, of West Chicago, and Anthony Rios, 18, of West Chicago, each were charged with first degree murder on Tuesday in connection to the death of Thomas Tecuatl, 22, of Wheaton, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.
Jimenez was charged with two counts of first degree murder and one count of mob action, while Martinez and Rios each were charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of mob action, according to the State's Attorney's Office.
All three defendants are being tried as adults, State's Attorney's Office spokesman Paul Darrah said.
At a party early Sunday morning in the 500 block of East Pomeroy Street in West Chicago, witnesses saw Tecuatl, a reputed member of the Surenos 13 gang, get into an argument with a group of rival gang members between 12 and 1 a.m., officials said.
It is alleged Tecuatl brandished a knife against the defendants before fleeing the party, officials said. The defendants allegedly grabbed a pick ax, pipe, bottles and bricks from a nearby garage and followed him, prosecutors said. Items were allegedly thrown at the victim, who also was hit in the head with a pipe, prosecutors said.
Tecuatl fell as he ran from the defendants, at which time the defendants allegedly beat him, prosecutors said. Tecuatl dropped his knife, which Jimenez admitted to picking up and using to stab him in the side four to five times, prosecutors said.
Jimenez provided an oral, video-taped confession to law enforcement officials, as well as a written statement, in which he explained what happened and said he was not acting in self-defense, prosecutors said.
After the incident, a friend of Tecuatl confronted the defendants, who had returned to the party, and Martinez allegedly laughed off what happened, saying he had to come to the aid of his fellow gang members, prosecutors said.
Martinez admitted to authorities that he was at the party, grabbed a pick ax, chased Tecuatl, beat him while he was on his back on the ground and then left him to return to the party, prosecutors said.
A resident living in the 600 block of South Neltnor Boulevard near Pomeroy Street in West Chicago found Tecuatl's body in his front lawn at about 6:45 a.m. Sunday when he went outside to get his newspaper, officials said.
Jimenez and Martinez appeared in bond court Wednesday morning at the DuPage County Courthouse. The bond hearing for Rios was delayed until 4 p.m. because his attorney could not be present for the 8 a.m. hearing.
Bond was set at $1 million for Jimenez and $800,000 for Martinez by Judge Elizabeth Sexton and $1 million for Rios by Judge Thomas Dudgeon. As part of their bond conditions, the teens are not allowed to have contact with each other or other gang members. They are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 16.
Jimenez faces a possible sentence of up to natural life in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Martinez and Rios each face a possible sentence of 20 to 100 years in IDOC.
The West Chicago Police Department was assisted in their investigation by the DuPage County Major Crimes Task Force and DuPage County State's Attorney’s Office, according to a city of West Chicago news release.