Three Waukegan residents charged with killing a man and dumping his body in a Cook County pond last year pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder charges.
Jose Horta, 19, Roberto Guzman, 24, and Nadia Palacios, 22, all of Waukegan, appeared in court facing a combined 12 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the July 5, 2011 slaying of 27-year-old David Campbell.
The three, along with Eric Castillo, 24, of Beach Park, are accused of killing the Waukegan man because they believed he had sexually assaulted Palacios. However, authorities say they do not believe Campbell assaulted Palacios and the murder defendants were acting on erroneous information.
Castillo is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
A fifth man -- Alex Rivera, 21, of Waukegan -- is accused of obstruction of justice for being present at the murder, but not participating in the slaying.
After Campbell's death, authorities say, two of the defendants wrapped the body in plastic and dumped him in the Penny Road Pond near Barrington. The body was discovered a day later.
Authorities say they broke the case in June after arresting Palacios' boyfriend, William Golden, in an unrelated shooting.