Guilty plea expected in 2017 Elgin ambush, fatal stabbing
The fourth and final defendant in the 2017 ambush and fatal stabbing in Elgin is expected to plead guilty in mid-July, court records show.
Michael A. Giacomino, 34, of Elgin, is next due in court July 13, and court services officials are preparing a presentence investigation in "anticipation of a cold plea" to first-degree murder of Bayron Cruz, 36, of South Elgin, according to Kane County court records. Cruz was killed Aug. 12, 2017 in a parking lot on the city's far west side.
Cruz was having an affair with the ex-girlfriend of Carlos F. Lopez, 31, of Elgin. According to trial testimony, Lopez masterminded a plan to ambush Cruz while he was having a tryst in the back seat of a car with Lopez's ex-girlfriend.
Lopez paid Giacomino and another man $200 each to pull a half-naked Cruz from the car and beat him before Lopez stepped in and stabbed Cruz 16 times with a steak knife, according to trial testimony.
A jury deliberated just 45 minutes before convicting Lopez of first-degree murder after a March 2020 trial. He was sentenced to 39 years in prison by Kane County Judge D.J. Tegeler.
Giacomino is expected to enter a "cold plea" in which a defendant does not have a sentence agreed upon with prosecutors beforehand and leaves it in the hands of a judge, which also is Tegeler. Giacomino faces 20 to 60 years in prison if he pleads guilty to first-degree murder.
Gabriel M. Lopez, 28, of Elgin, who has no relation to Carlos Lopez, was the second person paid to beat Cruz, according to trial testimony. Lopez pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in August 2019 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Ivette Rodriguez, 23, of Carpentersville, was initially charged with murder as prosecutors alleged she was the getaway driver. Rodriguez, who was Carlos Lopez' girlfriend at the time of the killing, later pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice in exchange for her testimony in the Lopez' trial. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a term she has completed.
Giacomino has been held at the Kane County jail on $1.09 million bail since his arrest in mid-September 2017, and also faces felony aggravated battery charges from a jail fight in May 2018, court records show.
A message left with the Kane County public defender's office, which is representing Giacomino, was not immediately returned Tuesday.