Elgin man sentenced to 39 years for ambush, stabbing
A 31-year-old man was sentenced to 39 years in prison Friday for planning an ambush and fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend's lover on Elgin's far west side.
A Kane County jury deliberated just 45 minutes in March before convicting Carlos F. Lopez, of Elgin, of the first-degree murder of Bayron Cruz, 36, of South Elgin. Prosecutors argued "extraordinary jealously" prompted Lopez to work with three others to attack Cruz while he was having a tryst in the rear seat of a car in the early morning hours of Aug. 12, 2017.
"Mr. Lopez's actions ruined Mr. Cruz's family," said Judge D.J. Tegeler in issuing the sentence. "He decided to take a knife. He decided to arm himself. He decided to plunge a knife into a human body several times. He decided to kill."
At trial, prosecutors detailed the plan in which Cruz, who was married and was the supervisor of Lopez's ex-girlfriend at a factory, was murdered.
Lopez paid two Elgin men $200 each and had his girlfriend at the time drive them to an area, according to trial testimony. Lopez and the two men pulled shirtless Cruz from the back seat of car where he was with his mistress, beat him and then Lopez stabbed Cruz 16 times with a steak knife, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also had a combination of surveillance video from the scene, security video from when the knife was purchased, and Lopez' recorded confession to Elgin police. The three other people were arrested in connection with Cruz's murder.
"It was a 3-on-1 attack and it was clearly a sneak attack," Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Joe Cullen said. "Bayron Cruz was half naked and in a very compromising position when the defendant chose to attack him."
Before the sentence was issued, Lopez said he was sorry and asked for forgiveness.
"I very much regret my actions," he said through a translator. "I regret not having thought things through, but everything happened so quickly and now so many people are suffering because of my actions."
Ivette Rodriguez, 23, of Carpentersville was initially charged with murder but later pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a term that she completed, and testified in Lopez's trial in March 2020.
Gabriel M. Lopez, 28, who has no relation to Carlos Lopez, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in August 2019 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Michael Giacomino, 34, is being held at the Kane County jail on $1.09 million bail on first-degree murder and other charges and is next due in court on June 25.
Under state law, Lopez must serve his entire sentence. He gets credit for serving about 34 months in jail while the case was pending.