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Murder trials set for court docket in Kane County

Aurelio Montano 55 Auroris charged 1990 death his wife Guadalupe MariMontano whose body has not been found. Montano is already

Aurelio Montano, 55, of Aurora, is charged in the 1990 death of his wife, Guadalupe Maria Montano, whose body has not been found. Montano is already serving life in prison for ordering the murders of a man and woman.

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Updated: November 28, 2013 6:31AM

A 23-year-old murder case where no body was ever found and a trial focused on a triple-murder suspect’s mental health are both scheduled to go before Kane County jurors next week.

In separate hearings on Thursday, judges and attorneys agreed that the cases involving Aurelio Montano of Aurora — charged with murdering his wife in 1990 — and Quentin Moore, charged in two different killings, were ready for trial beginning Monday.

Montano, 57, is already serving a life sentence for ordering the murders of two people in 1996. Montano filed for divorce from his wife, Maria, in 1991, but authorities believe she was already dead by that time. Prosecutors allege Montano dismembered his wife, buried her body and later moved it. Maria’s body has never been found. A judge last year ruled that prosecutors can introduce evidence of cadaver dog alerts in an area where Montano was believed to have put the body.

Assistant State’s Attorney Greg Sams and Assistant Public Defender Brenda Willett said the trial is likely to last about four days. Prosecutors are expected to call about a dozen witnesses, while Willett said she likely had four or five witnesses. Judge Karen Simpson will preside over the trial.

In the neighboring courtroom of Judge Susan Clancy Boyle, attorneys in Quentin Moore’s case indicated they were ready to proceed with a fitness trial to decide if the 32-year-old is capable of assisting and participating in his own defense.

Moore, already serving a 23-year prison sentence for attempted murder, is accused of the 2001 double murder of Larry Postlewaite and Sharon Paulette in Aurora, as well as participating in the 2005 beating death of Jorge Caro. He was arrested as part of 2008’s Operation First Degree Burn sweep that involved numerous arrests in Aurora cold case murders.

Moore’s fitness has been raised as an issue in the past. His attorney in 2008 questioned Moore’s ability to stand trial, although an evaluation by the Kane County Diagnostic Center deemed him fit.

In 2010, current attorney Herbert Hill requested another mental exam for Moore, who was described in the Diagnostic Center report as having a thought process “marred by persecutory delusions,” court records show.

Hill took over as Moore’s lawyer in 2010 after Moore attacked his previous attorney in court just as jury selection was about to start in the Caro murder trial, according to court documents and published reports.

Judges typically consider a defendant’s fitness based on evaluations, but a jury will be picked to hear such evidence. Prosecutors expect the trial to last two days.

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