Videos in case of shooting death of Zion man viewed in court
By Jim Newton firstname.lastname@example.org September 10, 2013 7:56PM
Updated: October 12, 2013 6:34AM
Videotaped interrogations and surveillance footage of the moments leading to a shooting outside a Round Lake Beach store were viewed in court Tuesday as part of a bid to have murder charges dismissed against Jose Rebollar-Vergara.
The hearing before Judge Daniel Shanes Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 10, was on a motion from defense attorneys to have first-degree murder charges dismissed against Rebollar-Vergara in the March 10 shooting death of 19-year-old Gabriel Gonzalez of Zion.
Rebollar-Vergara, 24, of Round Lake Park, admits to officers during a taped interrogation that he had brief words with the victim inside the One Stop Food and Liquor Store on Fairfield Road in Round Lake Beach, but his attorneys said he flashed no gang signs and did not participate in the shooting.
The motion specifies that a police officer incorrectly told the Grand Jury that indicted Rebollar-Vergara that both he and another man, Jose Garcia, 18, of Mundelein confessed to the crime.
Video was shown of Garcia, who prosecutors identify as the trigger man, admitting during questioning by the Lake County Major Crime Task Force that he took out a gun in the parking lot and that it went off in his hands but that he did not intend to kill Gonzalez.
But segments shown of the interrogation of Rebollar-Vergara did not show a confession, although he did say he recognized the victim as a person he had previously been in a fight with and told him, in a gang-related reference, to fix his hat.
Authorities have said Gonzalez was not known to have gang affiliations and may have been a victim of mistaken identity.
Assistant State’s Attorney Reginald Mathews, while stipulating that the state believes the video shows that Garcia shot Ganzalez, said Rebollar-Vergara is guilty of murder as an accomplice for his actions initiating conflict with Gonzalaz.
Shanes scheduled arguments on the motion, and a possible ruling, for next Monday afternoon, Sept. 16.