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Article updated: 4/25/2013 7:02 PM

Mom of murder suspect sentenced for obstruction

Elva Hernandez

Elva Hernandez

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The mother of a Willowbrook man charged with murder was sentenced Thursday for trying to conceal evidence in the case, authorities said.

Elva Hernandez, 43, also of Willowbrook, was sentenced to two years in prison after entering a guilty plea to one count of obstruction of justice.


Her son, Juan Cuellar, 23, is charged with the murder of 18-year-old Joshua Holmes, who was repeatedly shot Sept. 24, 2012, at Honeysuckle Rose Lane and Lilac Lane in Willowbrook.

Authorities said Hernandez helped her son dispose of the gun in the Fox River. The day after the shooting, a passer-by found the weapon and alerted police.

"In an attempt to help her son, who is accused of first-degree murder, Mrs. Hernandez made the very bad decision to assist in disposing of the alleged murder weapon," DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin said in a statement. "Today's sentence sends a message that anyone who obstructs a criminal investigation in any manner will face significant consequences."

Cuellar is being held in the DuPage County jail on no bond. He has pleaded not guilty to five counts of first-degree murder. He is due in court Monday for a status hearing.

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