West Chicago man pleads guilty to 2020 stabbing murder

  • Joel Munoz-Valdez

    Joel Munoz-Valdez

Updated 3/29/2022 1:48 PM

A West Chicago man pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder for stabbing a man five times during a fight in 2020.

In exchange, Joel Munoz-Valdez was sentenced to 22 years in prison.


"The court was struck by the needless and senseless loss of life," DuPage County Judge Michael Reidy said, telling Munoz-Valdez he had made poor choices that resulted in a man dying and Munoz-Valdez going to prison. "I hope you think about that every day."

Munoz-Valdez, 26, of the 700 block of South Oak Street, stabbed Luis Lopez, 26, outside Lopez's home on the 800 block of Brentwood Drive around 10:40 p.m. Feb. 26, 2020.

According to authorities, the two men had argued during a phone call earlier in the evening, and then Munoz-Valdez came to Lopez's house. Lopez was found bleeding on the front steps.

He had been stabbed in the back and left leg. He never regained consciousness and died on March 6, 2020.

Munoz-Valdez was arrested three days after the stabbing in Naperville.

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As part of the plea agreement, charges of methamphetamine possession and unlawful use or possession of weapons or ammunition by a felon were dropped.

Munoz-Valdez will have to serve 100% of his sentence before being eligible for parole. He received credit for the two years he has spent in the DuPage County jail since his arrest.

He was on probation for a 2018 possession of methamphetamine case at the time of the stabbing.

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