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Jury Convicts Elgin Man Of First Degree Murder

CHICAGO (CBS) - An Elgin man is facing a sentence that could keep him imprisoned for the rest of his life for forcing his way into a home where his girlfriend and her infant child were staying, shooting the homeowner to death, and then using a handgun to force the girlfriend and infant to leave with him, according to the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.

A Kane County jury convicted Alberto Sepeda, 29, of first degree murder, 2 counts of aggravated kidnapping, and home invasion in the November 2016 shooting death of 59-year-old Norbert Gutierrez.

Credit: Kane County State's Attorney

Kane County Assistant State's Attorneys presented evidence during the four-day trial that at about 4:15 a.m. Nov. 16, 2016, Sepeda, who was intoxicated, drove to a home in the 800 block of Morgan Street where his girlfriend and her infant were staying.

According to a press release from the Kane County State's Attorney's Office, "Sepeda pushed his way into the home, and when he refused to leave, Gutierrez, the homeowner, physically threw  Sepeda out of the house. As Sepeda fell down the home's front steps, he grabbed Gutierrez's shirt, pulling him to the ground with him. After a brief struggle, Sepeda shot Gutierrez in the chest with a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, and then pressed the barrel of the gun against the top of Gutierrez's head and fired another round, killing him. Meanwhile, the other family members in the house bolted the front door. Sepeda forced his way back into the home and ordered his girlfriend out of the house at gunpoint. He forced them into his car and then led Elgin police in a 2.5-mile chase that at one point reached 90 mph before his car broke down in the 1100 block of Oakley Avenue. Elgin police then took Sepeda into custody."

Kane County Circuit Judge John A. Barsanti set Sepeda's next court appearance for 1 p.m. July 27, 2018, for motions and sentencing. Sepeda faces a sentence of 45 years to life imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The sentence includes a mandatory 25-year enhancement because Sepeda personally fired the gun that killed Gutierrez.

Sepeda remains in the Kane County jail, where he has been held since his arrest in lieu of $5 million bail. Judge Barsanti revoked bond upon conviction.

"I hope this verdict brings a sense of justice to Norbert Gurierrez's family. He was senselessly murdered because he was trying to protect someone from Mr. Sepeda's violent behavior," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said.

"This murder has roots in domestic violence, a common factor in far too many violent crimes. Drunk and armed with his gun, the first-degree murder that Alberto Sepeda committed was a predictable and violent outcome. My thanks to the officers at the Elgin Police Department for their work in this investigation. My thanks also to the prosecution team of ASAs Cullen and Rodgers for their hard work in securing this guilty verdict."

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