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Aurora murder sentence reduction sought

Updated: November 26, 2013 6:28AM

Preciliano Garcia long-delayed the inevitable — being sentenced to prison for a murder conviction — and has taken another shot at reducing his time behind bars.

Garcia, 32, was sentenced to 55 years in prison on Oct. 17 in connection to the 2008 shooting death of Mario Vasquez during an Aurora break-in. Garcia and another man, Anthony Ortiz, forced their way into a home on North Chestnut Street in Aurora in November 2008 with plans to rob the residents. Shots were fired during a struggle with several men inside the home, and Vasquez suffered a fatal gunshot wound.

Now-retired Judge Timothy Sheldon convicted Garcia of murder and home invasion following a 2012 bench trial. Since then, Garcia filed several motions claiming, among other things, ineffective work by his attorney and the discovery of new evidence in hopes of getting a new trial.

Kane County Judge James Hallock denied Garcia’s most recent attempt for a new trial before sentencing. Hallock also gave Garcia a 25-year prison term for home invasion, time that runs consecutive to the murder sentence. Garcia received credit for time spent awaiting trial in Kane County Jail since March 2009, nearly 1,700 days.

On Monday, Garcia’s public defender filed a motion asking Hallock to reconsider the sentence on grounds the judge didn’t properly consider case evidence or Garcia’s background. Assistant Public Defender Brena Willett said Garcia’s prison term is “equivalent to a life sentence,” the motion states. A hearing has been scheduled for January.

Garcia is currently being processed at the Stateville Correctional Center.

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