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Gang Member Found Guilty Of Murdering Rival In 2004 Shooting

A Kane County jury has found 38-year-old Jesus Lechuga guilty of the offense of first-degree murder in the 2004 shooting death of José Covarrubias of Carpentersville.

Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Mark D. Stajdohar and Matthew Rodgers presented evidence during the 4-day trial that shortly after midnight March 1, 2004, Lechuga went to Covarrubias’ home on Chippewa Circle in Carpentersville and knocked on his bedroom window. When Covarrubias got to the window Lechuga shot him through the window with a single bullet from a .357-caliber revolver that struck Covarrubias in the head, killing him. Lechuga then went to his gang leader’s home to take credit for the murder. Others present overheard Lechuga claim responsibility for the fatal shooting. Lechuga went home and was seen with a large revolver tucked into his pants. Lechuga bragged about the fatal shooting at least 21 times during the next 2 years. Lechuga and Covarrubias were members of rival gangs at the time.

Kane County Judge Alice C. Tracy set Lechuga’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. October 6, 2021, in Courtroom 313 at the Kane County Judicial Center for motions and sentencing. Lechuga faces a sentence of between 45 years and life imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The sentence includes a mandatory 25-year enhancement because the jury found that Lechuga fired the gun that caused Covarrubias’ death.

When he was charged in 2010 for Covarrubias’ murder, Lechuga was serving an 18-year prison sentence for an aggravated battery with a firearm conviction in Boone County. Lechuga was recently released from IDOC in that case and remanded to Kane County to await trial. Lechuga remains in custody at the Kane County jail, where he has been held in lieu of $2 million bail. Judge Tracy revoked bond upon conviction.

“Mr. Lechuga bragged about murdering José Covarrubias at least 21 times over two years,” Assistant State’s Attorney Stajdohar said. “He badly wanted credit for this crime, and the jury gave him what he wanted. Thanks to the Carpentersville Police Department, especially the lead detective, Deputy Chief Todd Shaver, and thanks to SAO Investigator Mark Bricston for always finding the witnesses every time to notify them when they were due in court. This was a very long road to justice, but justice has been served.”

“Gangs and guns have a predictable outcome – death and prison,” added Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser. “This defendant is dangerous and thankfully is headed back behind bars where he belongs. My thanks to ASAs Stajdohar and Rodgers, and to the Carpentersville Police Department, for their hard work in holding Mr. Lechuga to account for his actions.”

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