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updated: 8/6/2014 4:17 PM

Waukegan man pleads not guilty to accusations in stabbing death

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  • Juan Guajardo

    Juan Guajardo


A Waukegan man pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder in Lake County court Wednesday.

Juan Guajardo, 39, faces 20 to 60 years in prison if convicted in the stabbing death of Manuel Alaniz, 40, outside of a home in the 600 block of North Lewis Avenue.

Guajardo was also charged with attempted murder for injuring another man who tried to intervene in the fight, authorities said. Guajardo is also facing two counts of aggravated battery in the June 21 attack.

Authorities were called to the home and found two men with stab wounds. Alaniz, who lived at the home, was pronounced dead at Vista Medical Center East, while the second man was treated for nonlife threatening injuries and released.

Initially, Guajardo was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of aggravated battery, but the charges were upgraded to first-degree murder at his arraignment in July.

Because the charges were upgraded, Judge Christopher Stride increased his bail from $250,000 to $3 million.

If found guilty of attempted murder, Guajardo could be sentenced to 6 to 30 years in prison. An aggravated battery conviction could put him in prison for 2 to 5 years.

Guajardo's trial has been set for Sept. 2, but he is due back in court Aug. 21.

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