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Not guilty plea, trial set in 2009 killing

Updated: January 9, 2014 6:10PM

A 25-year-old Aurora man pleaded not guilty Thursday to the 2009 murder of Donald Franklin.

Jose Sosa was charged with Franklin’s death in 2010 after a co-defendant admitted his own role in the killing, which has been tied to a gang initiation. Sosa, who was indicted in September, is among five people charged in the case. He returns to court Jan. 23, with a February trial scheduled.

Franklin sat on the front porch of his Kendall Street home on June 24, 2009, when then-16-year-old Christopher Contreras walked up to the house and shot 38-year-old Franklin, according to authorities who described the shooting as a targeted attack. Two other men sitting on the porch were wounded, but survived, the shooting. Jesus Bucio also was charged with murder shortly after the shooting. His case remains pending.

Contreras pleaded guilty to murder in 2010, which then led to charges against Sosa and Victor Aguilar Jr. Contreras, now 20, is serving a 45-year sentence, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

In 2012, Aguilar, 25, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. A fifth person, 32-year-old Azael Ramirez, previously took a plea to murder conspiracy and was sentenced to six years in prison. He is on parole until October, IDOC records show.

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