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updated: 7/15/2014 5:57 PM

Woman pleads guilty to torture, murder of Waukegan man

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  • Nadia Palacios

    Nadia Palacios


A Waukegan woman who assisted in the torture and killing of a man she believed sexually assaulted her pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder in Lake County court Tuesday.

Nadia Palacios, 24, will be sentenced to 20 to 60 years in prison at a hearing in front of Judge George Bridges for her role in the murder of David Campbell, 27, of Waukegan. She is due back in court Aug. 21, when the sentencing date will be set.

Palacios is the fourth of five people who were convicted or pleaded guilty to Campbell's murder at a Waukegan auto-body shop on Dugdale Street in July 2011.

Authorities said the five were looking for revenge when they lured Campbell to the shop with a fake drug deal. After Campbell entered the office, one assailant grabbed him and held him while another hit him in the head with a hammer, authorities said.

The five interrogated, tortured, and eventually killed Campbell in the garage. They dumped his body in the Penny Road Pond in unincorporated Cook County near Barrington, authorities said.

Authorities said Palacios used a blow torch to torture Campbell before he was killed.

The five also conspired to hide Campbell's car in Indiana, before splitting up $15,000 to $20,000 in cash Campbell had brought to the garage.

Police said the attack against Campbell was carried out after he was wrongly accused of sexually assaulting Palacios five days earlier.

Three of the four previous cases have resulted in extended prison sentences for the people involved.

Jose Horta, 21, of Waukegan, was sentenced in March to 59 years in prison; Roberto Guzman, 26, was sentenced to 29 years in prison after pleading guilty in May 2013; and Eric Castillo, 26, of Beach Park, was sentenced to 35 years in prison in May 2014.

Authorities said the fifth suspect involved in Campbell's murder has eluded capture.

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