The attorney for one of three reputed gang members who attacked and killed a 22-year-old Wheaton man last November said he intends to claim self-defense.
Anthony Rios, 18, of West Chicago, along with Jonathan Jimenez, 19, of Aurora, and West Chicago resident Alejandro Martinez, 17, each face first-degree murder charges in the death of Thomas Tecuatl, who was found beaten and stabbed early Nov. 17, 2013, along Route 59 in West Chicago.
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DuPage County prosecutors allege all four men attended a party on Nov. 16 on the 500 block of East Pomeroy Street.
Tecuatl was slain after he pointed a knife toward seven or eight rival gang members during a heated confrontation, they said.
Authorities said the suspects armed themselves with a pipe, a pickax and bricks and bottles from a garage after Tecuatl pulled out the knife.
After a brief chase, authorities said, Tecuatl lost his balance, fell and dropped the knife. Prosecutors allege Jimenez then picked up the knife and stabbed Tecuatl in the side four or five times.
"We're asserting self-defense in this case because it started with (Tecuatl) having a knife," attorney Kathleen Colton, representing Rios, said Thursday outside court.
Colton also filed a motion Thursday to sever the felony murder charge, which carries a prison sentence of 20 to 100 years, because prosecutors allege the murder happened during a gang-related mob action, from Rios' charges.
Prosecutors will respond to the motion before Rios' next court date on June 8.
Martinez is also due back in court on June 8. Jimenez is next due in court on May 19.