ADDISON –The Second District Appellate Court has upheld the jury ruling in the 2009 murder of Armando Huerta Jr. of Addison, according to a news release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.
Luis Villavicencio-Serna, 23, of Chicago, was convicted of first-degree murder on March 22, 2012, after a seven-day trial, and sentenced to 50 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, according to the release.
At about 3:30 a.m. May 16, 2009, Villavicencio-Serna shot Huerta with a .22-caliber handgun from a moving vehicle while Huerta was outside his Addison apartment building in the 300 block of Dale Drive, the release stated.
Huerta was hit in the leg and back and died several hours later from his injuries, according to the release.
The murder investigation revealed that Villavicencio-Serna killed Huerta because he had been in contact with Villavicencio-Serna’s girlfriend, the release stated.
In his appeal, Villavicencio-Serna argued both that he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and that the trial court should not have allowed certain taped statements to be presented as substantive evidence, according to the release.
However, the Appellate Court found that a jury’s verdict is “entitled to great deference,” and therefore, the court “will not disturb a jury’s verdict unless the evidence is so unsatisfactory as to raise a reasonable doubt regarding a defendant’s guilt," the release stated.
The court also ruled that testimony provided during the trial “provided an adequate and rational basis for the jury’s verdict," according to the release.
Regarding Villavicencio-Serna’s argument that some taped statements should not have been presented as evidence, the Appellate Court decided that the defendant “has not convinced us that the statements at issue here were not admissible … or that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting the statements in their entirety," the release stated.