Fifteen years after he killed two men in a car in an alley on Aurora’s near east side, an Aurora man had his fate sealed when he was told by a judge that he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
Jaime M. Diaz, 36, formerly of the 1600 block of North Marywood Avenue, Aurora, was sentenced today by Circuit Judge Karen Simpson to life in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Diaz was convicted Jan. 31, 2013, by a Kane County jury of two counts of first-degree murder in a case that was unsolved until he was charged in 2008.
The life sentence is mandatory because Diaz has been convicted of two murders.
Around midnight March 16, 1998, Diaz went to the Aurora home of his girlfriend and found her and her sister in a car with 21-year-old Brendon P. Anderson of Geneva and 21-year-old Elias Calcano of Aurora. The car belonged to Anderson. Diaz’s girlfriend previously had had a relationship with Anderson, and she testified that she was friends with Calcano. Diaz knew Calcano and possibly knew Anderson.
Several hours later, Anderson, Calcano, Diaz and a fourth man were in Anderson’s car, parked in an alley off the 700 block of East New York Street in Aurora. Diaz and the fourth man were in the backseat, Anderson was in the driver’s seat and Calcano was in the front passenger seat. Diaz pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and shot Anderson and Calcano once each in the back of the head.
The fourth man immediately fled. Diaz then beat Calcano about the head and face with the butt of the gun, causing multiple broken bones and knocking out an entire tooth. Diaz removed the bodies from the car and left the scene on foot. Diaz returned a short time later, doused the bodies and the surrounding area with gasoline and set them on fire. Anderson’s body was badly burned. Authorities believe that Anderson and Calcano died before Diaz set the fire.
The case was uncharged for more than 10 years until credible evidence surfaced that pointed to Diaz as the killer. A beer bottle that was in Anderson’s car at the murder scene was found to contain Diaz’s DNA. The fourth man testified at the trial that Diaz was drinking beer at the scene before the murders took place.
Diaz has been held in the Kane County jail since his arrest.
When the case was charged in 2008, the state declared its intent to seek a sentence of death. However, Illinois lawmakers repealed the death penalty in 2011.
“The families of Brendon Anderson and Elias Calcano waited many years for justice. They certainly deserve some measure of peace. We hope that this sentence, along with these convictions, helps them move forward,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.
“My thanks to Investigator Greg Spayth of the Aurora Police Department for his hard work and perseverance in this case, and to Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Greg Sams and Deborah Lang, who prosecuted this case.”
SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office