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Trial begins in 2004 murder of man shot while sleeping

CevStanford 31 charged murder James McClose 2004.

Cevin Stanford, 31, charged in the murder of James McClose in 2004.

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Updated: January 12, 2013 6:07AM

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP — The jury trial opened Monday for Cevin Stanford of Aurora, charged in the 2004 murder of a man who was sleeping.

The victim, James McClose Jr., 22, was shot multiple times in the back while he slept in a first-floor bedroom in the 1300 block of Monomoy Street. The shooter approached the house around 12:30 a.m. May 21, 2004. Five minutes later, police got a description of a suspect’s car.

Police followed a red Ford to a cemetery on Indian Trail and ran after the suspects, who dropped clothing and guns as they fled. The men escaped, but a gun they left behind matched bullets recovered at McClose’s house.

Four years later, police charged Stanford, 31, of the 600 block of Woodlawn Avenue. Police said forensic evidence eventually led to the charges.

According to court documents and a 2004 coroner’s inquest, McClose had been involved in an argument with several gang members a day before he was shot. According to a search warrant filed in the case, one man told McClose, an inactive gang member, to straighten his hat and show respect, but McClose refused. A gang member then reportedly told McClose, “It’s between you and me,” according to court documents.

Jury selection in the Kane County trial finished Monday morning and opening statements began in the afternoon.

McClose was a former West Aurora High School student and father of one girl.

Stanford is already serving a 98-year prison sentence for a July 4, 2006, shooting that injured three teenagers. In that case, Stanford was convicted of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and armed violence after a bench trial. Court records show he also was charged with possession of marijuana in 2000; delivery of marijuana and forgery in 2002; aggravated fleeing in 2004; and possession of a controlled substance in 2005.

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