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Jury begins deliberations in 2004 Aurora murder

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 14, 2013 7:22AM

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP — A Kane County jury began deliberating Wednesday afternoon in the 2004 murder of an Aurora man who was sleeping in his home.

Cevin Stanford, 31, of Aurora, is charged with shooting James McClose Jr. in the back multiple times while McClose slept in a first-floor apartment in the 1300 block of Monomoy Street in Aurora in May 2004.

The jury began deliberating around 1 p.m. Wednesday after three days of testimony.

The shooting may have been sparked when McClose, a former gang member, did not show proper respect to gang members.

During the trial, Stanford’s cousin testified that Stanford admitted he had crawled in the window and “opened up” on McClose.

Aurora police officers testified that shortly after the shooting, they followed a red Ford to a cemetery, where two men ran, dropping clothes and guns before they hopped a fence. The men escaped, but Stanford was charged four years later.

Defense attorney Ron Dolak argued that supposed confession was compromised because Stanford’s cousin kept it a secret until he could trade it for reduced sentence on other charges.

Stanford and his cousin were charged in a July 4, 2006, shooting that injured three teens. Stanford is serving a 96-year prison sentence on that charge.

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

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