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posted: 10/17/2012 5:05 PM

46-year sentence in 2008 Aurora cocaine deal slaying

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A Wisconsin man was sentenced to 46 years in prison Wednesday after being convicted of the October 2008 murder of a 28-year-old in Aurora in a drug deal gone bad.

Juan R. Herrera, 32, of Prescott, was found to have fired the gun that killed Hector Valtierrez of Chicago on Oct. 1, 2008, and faced a minimum of 45 years in prison after a 2011 conviction in a bench trial, according to court records.

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Prosecutors said Valtierrez and two others went to a residence in the 600 block of North Root Street in Aurora to buy five kilograms of cocaine from Herrera and another man.

Just as the drug buy was about to start, Valtierrez and the other men tried to steal the drugs and a gunfight erupted. Valtierrez shot Herrera twice with a .38-caliber handgun, but Herrera also shot Valtierrez twice with a .45-caliber handgun, prosecutors said. Valtierrez died at the scene.

Herrera was convicted by the late-Judge Jordan Gallagher on March 19, 2011, after a bench trial, records show. Circuit Judge David Akemann issued Wednesday's sentence, of which Herrera must serve 100 percent.

Herrera also will receive credit for just more than four years in jail while his case was pending.

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