UPDATE: A Boone County jury finds a Belvidere man guilty for the 2013 gang-related murder of an 18-year-old.
Authorities say Anthony Perez is the man who killed 18-year-old Giovanni Galicia, however the Boone County State's Attorney's Office says Ricardo Figueroa is legally responsible for Perez's actions.
The jury deliberated for two hours before finding Figueroa guilty on three counts of first degree murder, two counts of attempted 1st degree murder, mob action, and possession of a firearm by a gang member. The prosecution argued that Figueroa is a member of the Latin Kings and this was payback after rival gang Surenos 13, which Galicia was said to be a part of, shot up one of their houses. The defense on the other hand says there is no evidence to back up any of the state's claims and that there is no link to Figueroa and the pull of the trigger.
"There is no evidence of any kind offered to you by the state that even suggests that Ricardo Figueroa planned, promoted, facilitated, solicited, aided, abbetted, agreed to aid or attempted to aid Anthony Perez in the shooting of Giovanni Galicia," says Defense Attorney Rebecca Lee.
"He chose to hang out with hardened criminals and the fact is Ricardo Figueroa is here because of the choices he made. His choices. Not because we chose to prosecute him. That's why he's here," said Victor Escarcida with the Boone County State's Attorney's Office.
Figueroa is just the first person to have his day in court for the murder. Perez and Ricardo Garcia, the alleged getaway driver, are also facing charges.
Figueroa's sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 31. He faces anywhere from 20-60 years behind bars.
UPDATE: BELVIDERE (WIFR) – Opening statements are heard in the trial of 25-year-old Ricardo Figueroa of Belvidere. Figueroa faces murder charges for a November 2013 shooting.
Police believe Figueroa is involved in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Giovanni Galicia. His body was discovered by authorities in a car in the 2100 block of Lakeshore Drive in Belvidere. Figueroa has previously been charged with possessing a firearm and ammunition as a street gang member.
If convicted, Figueroa could faces anywhere from 20 to 60 years in prison.
UPDATE: 20-year-old Ricardo Garcia of Belvidere has been arrested and charged with the murder of an alleged Belvidere gang member on November 30th.
Garcia is charged with two counts of murder. Two other suspects, Anthony Perez and Ricardo Figueroa are already in custody.
Boone County authorities say the trio shot and killed 18-year-old Giovannie Galacia on November 30th and led authorities on a high speed chase in Winnebago County. A first degree murder conviction carries a sentence of 20 to 60 years in prison.
UPDATE: The Boone County State's Attorney has announced 22-year-old Ricardo Figueroa of Belvidere, has been charged with one count of First Degree Murder for the shooting that resulted in the death of Giovanni Galicia.
Investigators say Giovannie Galicia; was shot and killed while sitting in a car around 12:30 a.m. on November 30th in the 2100 block of Lake Shore Drive on Belvidere's west side.
Figueroa was previously charged for possessing a firearm and ammunition while being a street gang member.
Anthony Perez, of Belvidere, has also been charged with First Degree Murder for this shooting. The murder charge carries a sentencing range of 20 years to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, if convicted.
Figueroa’s next court date is December 13, 2013 and his bond is currently is set at $750,000 (10%).
BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- A teenager is shot and killed in what Belvidere Police say is a gang-related shooting. Now three suspects are in jail and another in the hospital after being shot by a Boone County Deputy.
This all happened around 12:30 Saturday morning in the 2100 block of Lake Shore Drive on Belvidere’s west side. Investigators say Giovannie Galicia; was shot and killed while sitting in a car. Today family and friends went back to the spot he was killed, paying tribute to the teen with flowers and candles.
Shortly after the shooting Boone County Sheriff’s deputies chased a car that fit the description of the shooters all the way to Rockford. They arrested Ricardo Figueroa and Cheyanne Patton, but one person in the car who they think was Anthony Perez ran off. Perez turned himself into Belvidere Police around 6:30 Saturday night. He's charged with first degree murder.
A fourth person in the car, whose name has not been released, was shot in leg by one of the officers. The Winnebago Boone Integrity Task Force is investigating the shooting.