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updated: 10/15/2013 12:10 PM

Trial date set for man charged in Round Lake Beach shooting

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  • Jose Rebollar-Vergara

      Jose Rebollar-Vergara

  • Jose Garcia

      Jose Garcia

 
 

A Lake County judge has set March 10 as the "realistic" court date for a Round Lake Park man accused of killing a Zion teen outside of a liquor store.

Jose Rebollar-Vergara, 25, faces three counts of first-degree murder and remains held in Lake County jail on $3 million bail for killing Gabriel Gonzalez, 19, outside of the One Stop Food and Liquor Store in the 1000 block of Fairfield Road, Round Lake Beach.

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His initial court date was scheduled for Sept. 23, but court proceedings forced that date to be pushed back.

The new trial date, set by Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes, marks the anniversary of the shooting that killed Gonzalez during a confrontation inside and outside the liquor store at 12:40 a.m.

Authorities said Rebollar-Vergara, of the 500 block of North Carol Lane, and Jose Garcia, 18, of the 600 block of Deepwoods Drive in Mundelein, first confronted Gonzalez inside the store and wrongly assumed the Zion teen was a gang member.

After words were exchanged inside the store, Gonzalez went to the parking lot, but was again confronted by Rebollar-Vergara and Garcia, authorities said.

While Rebollar-Vergara walked toward Gonzalez and the Zion teen backed up, one of the defendants pulled out a .22-caliber handgun and fired at Gonzalez, authorities said. One bullet hit Gonzalez in the back and pierced his aorta, killing him.

Prosecutor Reginald Mathews said Garcia fired the weapon that killed Gonzalez, but attorneys for Garcia said video evidence of the shooting remains unclear.

Attorneys for Garcia also claim he was coerced into confessing to police.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Rebollar-Vergara and Garcia each could be sentenced to up to 75 years in prison.

Rebollar-Vergara is due back in court Nov. 12 for a pretrial hearing, while Garcia is due back in court on Thursday to wrap up arguments regarding the suppression of evidence and confessions made to police following his arrest.

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