Elgin man guilty of 2006 murder faces felony pot charges

  • Adrian Pesina is free on bond and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

    Adrian Pesina is free on bond and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

Updated 1/10/2020 10:50 AM

An Elgin man who was sentenced to prison for fatally shooting a gang member and sex offender during a fight in September 2006 stuffing his body in a car and abandoning it in Streamwood, is in trouble again.

Adrian Pesina, 35, of the 1800 block of Sheffield Drive, was arrested and charged Monday with two counts of felony possession of 100 to 500 grams of marijuana, and littering, according to Kane County court records.


Pesina was driving a 2002 Ford that was pulled over by police about 9:45 p.m. near the intersection of Bluff City Boulevard and St. Charles Street in Elgin. A deputy saw the car make a sudden left turn and an item being thrown out the passenger window, according to Kane County Undersheriff Pat Gengler.

Deputies found a large bag with 113 grams of suspected marijuana in the location where the item was tossed. They also found 33 grams of cannabis wax inside Pesina's car, Gengler said.

Marijuana became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1 for recreational use, but residents may possess only up to 30 grams of the dried flower.

Pesina, who is free on bond, appeared briefly in court Friday and is next due before a judge Feb. 21. He faces a sentence ranging from probation to up three years in prison if convicted.

He was sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty in September 2008 to a reduced charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Juan Hernandez, 29, of Elgin, on Sept. 17, 2006.

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Pesina was initially charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide and faced a minimum of 45 years in prison, with no early release, if a judge or jury concluded he fired the fatal shot.

Pesina's attorney had argued Hernandez was high or intoxicated when he menacingly approached Pesina on the 400 block of Cedar Street in Elgin. Hernandez, a gang member and sex offender, was shot accidentally after a struggle in which he grabbed Pesina's firearm, attorney Paul De Luca argued at the time, according to court records.

Prosecutors also said Hernandez was "shouting gang words," according to court records.

Under state law, Pesina was allowed to have his 17-year sentence halved for good behavior. Two other defendants, both 19 at the time, pleaded guilty to concealment of a homicide. One man got three years prison, while the other received 30 months probation.

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