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updated: 9/3/2013 2:21 PM

Defense attorney questions video evidence in Round Lake Beach slaying

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  • Jose Garcia

    Jose Garcia

  • Jose Rebollar-Vergara

    Jose Rebollar-Vergara


Attorneys continue to debate who the triggerman was in the murder of a 19-year-old Zion man outside of a Round Lake Beach convenience store in early spring.

Defense attorney James Schwarzbach filed motions to dismiss the murder case against Jose Garcia, 19, of the 600 block of Deepwoods Drive in Mundelein, because Schwarzbach claims important security video frames that show the shooting of Gabriel Gonzalez, 19, of Zion, are missing.

Schwarzbach said it's unclear what happened to the video that caused the missing frames. However, he said, those frames are important to Garcia's case.

"There are frames missing and we don't know why," he said, adding he doesn't believe the video was tampered with.

Schwarzbach and Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Reginald Mathews will argue the motion in front of Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes on Oct. 8.

Authorities have said Garcia and co-defendant Jose Rebollar-Vergara, 25, of the 500 block of North Carol Lane in Round Lake Park, wrongly assumed Gonzales was a gang member wearing his hat incorrectly when Gonzales entered the One Stop Food and Liquor Store on the 1000 block of Fairfield Road in Round Lake Beach on March 10.

The pair confronted Gonzalez, authorities said, but the Zion man refused to readjust his hat and pushed past them into the parking lot.

Garcia and Rebollar-Vergara followed Gonzales outside, authorities said, where one of them pulled out a .22-caliber handgun and fired 10 shots at Gonzales. One bullet hit Gonzales in the back and pierced his aorta, killing him.

Schwarzbach said the video evidence shows Rebollar-Vergara pulled out the weapon and fired at Gonzales. But Mathews and defense attorneys for Rebollar-Vergara say Garcia fired the gun.

Both men have confessed to the shooting to police, authorities said. Both have been charged with murder and are in jail on $3 million bail.

Schwarzbach said there were six security cameras in total -- four inside the store and two outside -- that recorded the altercation between Gonzalez and the gang members. But, the frames of the actual shooting are not clear.

Schwarzbach has also filed motions that claim police used illegal techniques to get Garcia to confess to the murder, and he is waiting for a gun shot residue test from the state crime lab to be completed on Garcia's sweatshirt.

The shooting video, as well as the confession video, will be played during the Oct. 8 court hearing.

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