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updated: 4/7/2014 4:13 PM

Attorney wants jury bused to crime scene

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  • Jose Vergara-Rebollar

    Jose Vergara-Rebollar


The defense attorney for a Round Lake Park man charged in the murder of a Zion teen made a formal request to allow jurors to visit the crime scene to give them a better view of where the killing took place.

Robert Ritacca filed a motion with Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes to bus the jury from the Lake County courthouse to the 1000 block of Fairfield Road in Round Lake Beach during the trial of Jose Vergara-Rebollar, 25, set to begin April 28.

Ritacca said the move is to allow the jury to "see the scene," including the distances and traffic in the area that aren't easily visible on the crime scene video.

"It will help them if they see the scene in person than through the video," he said. "They'll be able to see that there is a lot of distance and a lot of traffic. It could help them piece things together."

Vergara-Rebollar, of the 500 block of Carol Lane, is held in Lake County jail on $3 million bond. He faces three counts of murder in the death of Gabriel Gonzalez, 18, of Zion, outside of the One Stop Food and Liquor Store on March 10, 2013.

Authorities said Vergara-Rebollar and Jose Garcia, 19, of Mundelein, confronted Gonzalez inside the minimart at 12:40 a.m. and wrongly assumed Gonzalez was in a rival gang.

After angry words were exchanged inside, the Zion man pushed his way out to the parking lot where the argument continued with Vergara-Rebollar, authorities said.

Garcia trailed Vergara-Rebollar outside, authorities said, where he pulled out a 22-caliber handgun and fired 10 shots at Gonzalez, authorities said. Gonzalez died after a bullet struck his aorta, authorities said.

Garcia was found guilty of three counts of murder in February, and was sentenced to 62 years in prison this month.

Authorities have argued Garcia was acting as a gang enforcer for Vergara-Rebollar when he fired the gun that killed Gonzalez.

Assistant State's Attorney Reginald Mathews also said in court Monday the surnames of the defendant should be switched to Vergara-Rebollar on all documentation. Previously, the state and Lake County circuit clerk's office identified the defendant as Rebollar-Vergara.

Both sides are expected to argue the busing motion April 14.

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