Motion denied to dismiss murder charges
By Jim Newton email@example.com September 16, 2013 5:56PM
Updated: October 18, 2013 6:11AM
A motion to dismiss first-degree murder charges against a Round Lake Park man implicated in the videotaped shooting death of a Zion resident was denied Monday in Lake County Circuit Court.
Defense attorneys for Jose Rebollar-Vergara, 24, had argued that murder charges against him should be dropped because a Lake County Grand Jury had incorrectly been informed that he “confessed” prior to indicting both Rebollar-Vergara and Jose Garcia, 18, of Mundelein on first-degree murder charges.
The motion specified that a police officer incorrectly told the Grand Jury that both Rebollar-Vergara Garcia had confessed to the crime.
But Judge Daniel Shanes ruled Sept. 16 that nothing that occurred in the Grand Jury process rose to the level of requiring that charges be dropped against Rebollar-Vergara.
Garcia did confess to the killing in a videotaped interrogation and actually said Rebollar-Vergara did not know that Garcia had a gun when the two got into an altercation with the victim, Gabriel Gonzalez, 19, of Zion, March 10 inside the One Stop Food and Liquor Store on Fairfield Road in Round Lake Beach.
Defense attorney Sharmila Manak argued that once the Grand Jury heard the word “confession” linked to Rebollar-Vergara, it could be speculated that they were no longer concentrating on or weighing other evidence.
Assistant State’s Attorney Reginald Mathews said prosecutors believe surveillance footage outside of the store shows that Garcia shot Ganzalez in the parking lot of the store, but that Rebollar-Vergara is guilty of murder as an accomplice for his actions in initiating conflict with Gonzalaz.
Mathews said Rebollar-Vergara, in a gang reference, told Gonzalez to fix the way his hat was tilted and that the two began exchanging words.
The videotape shows Gonzalez backing out of the store and being pursued by Rebollar-Vergara and Garcia.
Shanes said Manak had raised valid “philosophical arguments,” in defending her motion, but that it will be up to the court at trial to decide whether or not the state can prove its charges against Rebollar-Vergara.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Oct.15.