Breaking News Bar
updated: 3/4/2014 4:58 PM

Attorney: Round Lake Park man is not a gang member

Success - Article sent! close
  • Jose Rebollar-Vergara

      Jose Rebollar-Vergara


The defense attorney for a man accused in the shooting death of a Zion teen outside of a Round Lake Beach minimart said he will try to block prosecutors from identifying his client as a gang member.

Jose Rebollar-Vergara, 25, of the 500 block of Carol Lane in Round Lake Park, is not a gang member, and prosecutors should not be allowed to introduce evidence linking him to a gang, defense attorney Robert Ritacca said Tuesday.

Order Reprint Print Article
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"Rebollar is not a gang member, he's a mechanic," Ritacca said following a pretrial hearing in front of Judge Daniel Shanes. "This is not a gang shooting."

Ritacca said he intends to file paperwork to suppress any statements that link Rebollar-Vergara to a gang, should the case go to trial.

Authorities said Rebollar-Vergara and admitted gang member Jose Garcia, 18, of Mundelein, confronted Gonzalez inside the One Stop Food and Liquor Store in the 1000 block of Fairfield Road at 12:40 a.m. on March 10, 2013, and wrongly assumed Gonzalez was in a rival gang.

After angry words were exchanged inside the store, Gonzalez pushed out to the parking lot where the argument continued with Rebollar-Vergara, authorities said.

Garcia also went to the parking lot during the argument and pulled out a .22-caliber handgun and shot at the 18-year-old Gonzalez, authorities said. He died after a bullet struck his aorta, authorities said.

Garcia was found guilty of Gonzalez's murder Feb. 7. He testified during his trial that Rebollar-Vergara was a gang member and the person who fired the shot that killed Gonzalez.

Prosecutors have argued Garcia was the triggerman in the murder and that he was an enforcer for Rebollar-Vergara, who they believe was the highest ranking gang member at the scene.

Ritacca disagreed. He claimed Rebollar-Vergara did not know Garcia was armed the night of the killing.

"Nobody knew Garcia had a gun," Ritacca said. "My client is the least culpable person at the scene that night."

Both sides are expected to return to court March 24 for a pretrial hearing. The trial is tentatively scheduled for April 21.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.