An Aurora man already serving a 45-year prison term for gunning down an Illinois Youth Center guard on Halloween in 2004 could face life in prison if convicted of a 2005 murder.
Timothy C. Echols is accused of standing guard while five gang members severely beat 22-year-old Jorge Caro of Aurora with a baseball bat at about 3:30 a.m. Sept. 4, 2005 on the 600 block of North Lincoln Avenue in Aurora.
Caro, who was targeted because he cooperated with police in 2003 in a murder case, died from his injuries. Echols is charged with first-degree murder.
The case against Echols has been pending for several years in juvenile court. Wednesday, on Echols' 21st birthday, Kane County prosecutors charged him as an adult.
Judge James Hallock set his bail at $5 million, but it's impossible for Echols to be released because he's incarcerated for the shooting death of Duranthony Evans.
Echols pleaded guilty in summer 2008 to shooting Evans, a corrections officer at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles, while Evans was stopped at an intersection at Farnsworth and North avenues in Aurora on Oct. 31, 2004. The murder was part of a gang initiation and Echols was 14 at the time.
Echols was arrested 2006 in that case in which the getaway driver, Eric Sanchez, 25, of Aurora, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years.
Assistant Public Defender Brenda Covey said attorneys have been in plea negotiations for the 2005 murder for several years, but nothing has been agreed upon.
"We're continuing to negotiate but he's now charged as an adult," Covey said.
Three others were charged with Caro's death: Max Aguilar, 21, of Aurora, who was sentenced to 20 years; Quinton Moore, 30, of Aurora, who is due in court Sept. 23; and Ruben Hernandez, 28, of Aurora, was sentenced to 40 years.
Aurora Police Lt. Pete Inda said authorities are still investigating Caro's murder.
"There's still others that we believe are involved," Inda said.
Echols is due in court Nov. 18.