North Chicago driver plans to argue self-defense at trial

  • Tony Salcedo

    Tony Salcedo

Updated 4/5/2018 4:16 PM

A North Chicago man accused of intentionally striking two pedestrians, one fatally, with a car in Waukegan a year ago is expected to claim self-defense, his attorney said in court Thursday.

Joe Zeit, attorney for Tony Salcedo, 25, said he is planning an affirmative defense. When pressed by Judge Daniel Shanes about using an affirmative defense, Zeit said it will be about "necessity and self-defense" by Salcedo at 4:30 a.m. last April 27.

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An affirmative defense is a legal term in which a defendant admits to committing the crime but offers an explanation to justify his or her actions.

Should the case go to trial, Salcedo faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty on charges of reckless homicide and failure to report an accident resulting in death.

He remains free from Lake County jail after posting the required 10 percent of his $100,000 bail.

Authorities said Salcedo was driving south on the 0-100 block of Genesee Street when he saw a group of people in the street. Police said Salcedo accelerated and struck two pedestrians.

Salcedo is also accused of driving away from the crash scene and attempting to dump the vehicle in a Grayslake parking lot, leading to an obstruction of justice charge.

The victims were taken to a hospital where Jose J. Diaz, 28, of Waukegan, was pronounced dead. A 27-year-old Waukegan man survived.

Salcedo is due back in court April 19.

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