Man convicted of murder 17 years after shooting in Carpentersville
A former Carpentersville man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2004 shooting death of a construction worker in Carpentersville.
Jesus Lechuga, 38, was convicted Thursday in the killing of 23-year-old Jose Covarrubias of Carpentersville.
Covarrubias was shot in the head shortly after midnight on March 1, 2004, when he answered a knock on his bedroom window. There was no eyewitness to the shooting.
When charges were announced in 2010, police said Lechuga had been a suspect from the start. But it took significant time to locate people who could credibly tie Lechuga to Covarrubias' death.
At the time, authorities said Covarrubias and Lechuga belonged to opposing gangs.
Lechuga was sent to prison in June 2004 on an unrelated charge. He had been arrested 12 days after the Covarrubias shooting when police found him with a loaded shotgun. And in a 2005 shooting case in Boone County, a judge sentenced him to 18 years in prison for aggravated battery with a firearm.
He was released from prison several months ago on that case. He then was immediately turned over to the custody of the Kane County jail.
As to why it took 11 years, a spokesman for the Kane County state's attorney's office said it was difficult locating witnesses who were needed to testify and getting them to Kane County at the same time. The trial was delayed because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.