Some cases resolved, new Kane crimes comitted in 2018
The year of 2018 brought resolutions to some court cases in Kane County as well as seeing new disputes and crimes. Here is a sample of some of the biggest cases and developments from last year.
Alberto Sepeda sentenced to 86 years prison:
A Kane County jury convicted Alberto Sepeda of fatally shooting a 59-year-old Elgin man outside his home in November 2016 and then leading police on a 90-mph chase after he kidnapped his girlfriend and their baby at gunpoint. Judge John Barsanti called the self-defense testimony of Sepeda, 30, "illogical, unbelievable and self-serving" before sentencing him to 86 years in prison in July.
McMahon gets murder conviction vs. Chicago cop:
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon and his legal team secured a guilty verdict in October against former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke for second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting and killing Laquan McDonald in October 2014 in Chicago. Van Dyke will be sentenced this year and McMahon and his assistants received numerous accolades for their work as special prosecutors in the case.
3 sentenced for recorded Elgin gang rape:
Three gang members -- Jose L. Vazquez, Jr., 22 and Eric N. Cruz, 27, both of Elgin, and Daniel Hernandez-Guiterrez, 24, of South Elgin -- were sentenced to prison after pleading guilty in June to a December 2014 sexual assault of a nearly unconscious woman they knew. Vazquez and Guiterrez were sentenced to 18 years; Cruz, who video recorded the assault, got 12 years and all must register as sex offenders for life.
60 years prison for fatal Aurora bar shooting:
A 51-year-old Aurora man was convicted of gunning down another man at an Aurora bar in August 2016 and sentenced to 60 years in prison. Alfredo Soto was drinking at a bar with a group of men when Martiniano Alvarez, 31, of South Elgin, joined them. After a couple hours, Soto pulled a gun and shot four times at Alvarez, with one bullet hitting him in the temple. The shooting was caught on surveillance video.
Insurance dispute settled in STC murder, suicide
In March 2017, Randall Coffland of St. Charles shot and killed his 16-year-old daughters, Brittany and Tiffany, before wounding his wife and turning the gun on himself. Before the shooting, he changed his $500,000 life insurance policy to benefit his close friend and his brother instead of his daughters. Anjum Coffland sued for the insurance money; in October 2018 a settlement was reached in which gives $250,000 to Russell Coffland, $100,000 to friend Terry Spurgeon and $150,000 to Anjum Coffland.
Shadwick King verdict overturned:
An appellate court reversed the 2015 conviction of Shadwick King, who was found guilty of murdering his wife in July 2014 and staging a crime scene along the railroad tracks in Geneva in hopes that a train would run over her body and destroy evidence. The court panel ruled in August 2018 that an FBI profiler was allowed to give improper testimony, thereby depriving King, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison, of a fair trial. No new date has been set for King's second trial.
St. Charles man gets prison for beating, shooting:
A jury convicted a St. Charles man of severely beating his wife in May 2016 and firing five shots in her direction on a suburban street before being disarmed by a local school board member who was walking his dog. Scott Turyna was found not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty of aggravated domestic battery, along with aggravated and reckless discharge of a firearm and sentenced to 17 years in prison by Judge D.J. Tegeler.
Batavia Steak N' Shake shooting:
An Aurora man was charged in February with attempted murder and numerous other felonies after authorities said he opened fire and wounded a teen in the drive through of the Steak N' Shake in Batavia. Terry W. Hunter, 28, turned himself in days of the shooting, in which a Carol Stream teen was hit in the leg as he used a streetlight for cover in the parking lot. Hunter is being held on $500,000 bail and is set for a May 13 jury trial.
Prison terms for Elgin kidnapping, torture:
Four of five people charged in the February 2016 kidnapping and cigarette torture of a teen in Elgin pleaded guilty last year and were sentenced to various prison sentences. Luis Palomar, 20, of Lake in the Hills, who authorities described as the leader in the scheme, was sentenced to 16 1/2 years in prisons. Three other people received sentences ranging from two to 10 years in prison for their roles in kidnapping the victim, who was Palomar's ex-girlfriend and burning her shoulder tattoo. The last defendant, Megan A. Lino, 22, is set for trial March 4 and faces six to 30 years in prison if convicted.