Aurora man gets 40 years for gang murder

An Aurora gang member has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for his part in the beating death of a 21-year-old man.

Ruben Hernandez, 25, was one of two men convicted of first-degree murder last year in the Sept. 4, 2005 killing of Jorge Caro. He was sentenced by Kane County Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon.

"This is a powerful victory for the residents of Aurora who have grown weary of gang activity in their community," State's Attorney John Barsanti said in a news release.

Prosecutors said Hernandez was among several men who beat Caro to death after Caro "falsely implied" he was a fellow gang member at a party on the 900 block of Wennemacher Street, Aurora.

Caro, who was hit in the head with a baseball bat several times, also was targeted because he cooperated in a 2003 murder investigation, authorities said.

In handing down the sentence, Sheldon described Hernandez as "incorrigible" and noted his extensive criminal history and gang ties dating to the age of 15, prosecutors said.

Co-defendant Max M. Aguilar, 18, of Aurora, also was convicted of first-degree murder in December. He faces 20 to 60 years in prison when sentenced April 23.

Both men were indicted by a special grand jury in 2007 after a multiagency police investigation into 22 "cold-case" homicides.

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