Fourth man sentenced for fatal gang initiation shooting in Aurora
SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE February 3, 2014 5:12PM
Jose R. Sosa / photo from Kane County State's Attorney's office
Updated: March 5, 2014 6:22AM
The fourth of four gang members involved in the fatal shooting of a man in 2009 as part of a gang initiation has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Jose R. Sosa, 25, of Aurora, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Monday in exchange for the sentence, and Circuit Judge Susan Clancy Boles accepted the plea, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.
“As long as young people pursue gang membership, we will have defendants to prosecute for murders and other violent crimes,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in a statement. “It’s as predictable as the sunset, until young people realize that gang membership ends with a prison sentence or an early death.”
On June 24, 2009, Sosa and Victor Aguilar, 25, of Aurora, were helping other two men gain membership into a gang by driving around the city and looking for people to shoot, a statement from prosecutors said.
At about 10:40 p.m. the were driving in the 200 block of North Kendall Street when they saw five people on a porch. Sosa told the two initiates the people on the porch were members of a rival gang and would be easy targets because they weren’t paying attention to the street, prosecutors said.
Sosa drove around the block, parked and instructed Jesus Bucio, 25, and Christopher Contreras, 21, how to creep up on the victims, prosecutors said. Sosa and Aguilar then gave guns to Bucio and Contreras, who each fired several shots at the porch. One of the shots struck Donald Franklin, 38, who died from the gunshot wound.
Contreras, of the 1500 block of Superior Street; and Bucio, of the 1600 block of Gary Avenue, pleaded guilty to murder and are serving 30-year sentences. Aguilar, of the 600 block of Flagg Street, also pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 20 years.
Sosa, of the 300 block of Oakwood Avenue, must serve 100 percent of his 30 years, but was given credit for 969 days spent in the Kane County jail, where had been held on a $5 million bond.
“The murder of Donald Franklin was tragic and senseless. The four individuals involved are behind bars for decades. I hope these sentences, particularly this final disposition, bring a sense of peace and justice to Donald Franklin’s loved ones,” McMahon said in the statement.