Kane County Moves Forward with Death Penalty Cases While Gov Decides
Five defendants in Kane County are involved in pending cases where the death penalty could be invoked. Kane's state's attorney says he'll keep pushing until Quinn makes a decision.
Kane County will move forward "as usual" with pending death penalty cases while Gov. Pat Quinn decides on whether to repeal, State Attorney Joe McMahon said Tuesday.
The state Senate voted to repeal the death penalty on Jan. 11, and the Legislature has 30 days to present it to Quinn, the press release said. The governor has 60 days from the time he receives the legislation to sign it.
Here are the cases, as reported in the release:
• Hector M. Mauricio, 24, of the 1100 block of Ridgeway Avenue, Aurora. Mauricio in September 2010 pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the 2007 death of 83-year-old Roscoe Ebey of Aurora Township. Circuit Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon in November 2010 ruled that Mauricio is eligible for a death-penalty sentence. Mauricio’s next court date is Feb. 9, to continue the sentencing phase. Lawyers have argued about aggravating factors. Attorneys next must argue about mitigating factors before Judge Sheldon issues his sentence.
After conferring with Judge Sheldon and Mauricio’s lead attorney, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office plans to seek a delay in the sentencing proceedings until Gov. Quinn acts.
The other cases are in various pretrial phases:
• Darren Denson, 39 (d.o.b. 9-10-1971), last address unknown, in the February 2003 death of Kyle Juggins. Denson’s next court appearance is set for Feb. 16, and his trial is set to begin April 4, 2011.
• Frank Hill, 33 (d.o.b. 7-1-1977), of the 500 block of Telluride Drive, Gilberts, in the January 2007 death of Karyn Pearson. Hill’s next court appearance is set for Feb. 25, and his trial is set to begin May 16, 2011.
• Jaime M. Diaz, 33 (d.o.b. 4-8-1977), of the 1600 block of North Marywood Avenue, Aurora, in the March 1998 death of Brendon Anderson and Elias Calcano. Diaz’s next court appearance is set for Feb. 10, 2011.
• Aurelio Montano, 55 (d.o.b. 10-5-1955), of the 200 block of North Kendall Street, Aurora, in the July 1990 death of his wife, Guadalupe Maria Montano. Montano’s next court appearance is set for Feb. 18, 2011.
"In these four cases, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office plans to proceed as usual and make necessary modifications as needed until Gov. Quinn acts," the release said.
“Given the uncertainty of Gov. Quinn’s support for the death penalty repeal, the need for justice and the need to keep these cases moving forward, this is appropriate action. As we proceed, we will continue to review each of these cases individually to ensure fairness for the victims and the defendants,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.
The charges against Denson, Hill, Diaz and Montano are not proof of guilt. These defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This release is courtesy of Christopher Nelson, Kane County State's Attorney's Office public information officer.