Fittest loser
Article updated: 3/14/2013 8:23 PM

20-year sentence after Aurora shootout, murder

Raul Sauceda-Cervantes

Raul Sauceda-Cervantes

 
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A Marseilles man pleaded guilty Thursday to murder in a cocaine deal gone bad in Aurora in 2008 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Raul Saucedo-Cervantes, who turns 33 Friday, admitted his role in a shootout on Oct. 1, 2008, after a deal to sell five kilograms of cocaine on the city's near east side erupted into a gunfight, prosecutors said.

Co-defendant Juan M. Herrera, 37, of Prescott, Wis., was found guilty in a 2011 bench trial of shooting and killing Hector Valtierrez, 28, of Chicago. Herrera was sentenced to 46 years in prison last fall.

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

But just as the deal was about to go down, Valtierrez and the other men tried to steal the drugs. Valtierrez shot Herrera twice with a .38 caliber handgun, but Herrera killed Valtierrez by shooting him twice with a .45 caliber handgun, prosecutors said.

Kane County Judge Susan Clancy Boles accepted the Herrera's plea Thursday, in which prosecutors dropped other charges and sought the minimum prison term. He faced up to 60 years behind bars.

Although Cervantes did not shoot anyone, he was held legally accountable because he and Herrera were acting together, prosecutors said.

"The murder and these prison sentences are the predictable outcome when guns and drugs are involved," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said.

Cervantes had been held for nearly four years at the Kane County jail on $3 million bail while his case was pending. His case was set to go to trial April 15.

Defense attorney Liam Dixon said if the case went to trial and his client was convicted, he faced a minimum of 50 years in prison on murder charges, armed violence and a 15-year sentence add-on because he was with people who brought and used guns in the crime.

"This was (Cervantes') better option," Dixon said.

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