Auroran faces life in double murder
Beacon-News Staff February 1, 2013 3:04PM
Jaime Diaz, 33, formerly of Aurora, was convicted in January 2013 in the 1998 murders of Brendon Anderson of Geneva and Elias Calcano of Aurora.
Updated: March 4, 2013 6:38AM
Jaime Diaz, convicted Thursday in a 15-year-old Aurora murder case, can expect to spend the rest of his life in prison.
The 35-year-old Auroran faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison because he was convicted of two murders — the shootings of Brendon Anderson of North Aurora and Elias Calcano of Aurora, in March 1998.
The case went unsolved for a decade, until Diaz was charged in 2008. At that time, the state declared its intent to seek the death sentence for Diaz, formerly of the 1600 block of North Marywood Avenue. However, Illinois lawmakers repealed the death penalty in 2011.
The jury deliberated for about three hours Thursday evening before returning with its verdict, finding Diaz guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors said Diaz was in the back seat and Anderson and Calcano were in the front seat of a car in an alley off New York Street on Aurora’s near East Side on March 16, 1998, when Diaz pulled out a handgun and shot both of them in the back of the head.
Diaz pulled the bodies from the car and left the scene on foot. He returned a short time later, doused the bodies and the surrounding area with gasoline, and set them on fire. Authorities believe that Anderson and Calcano, both 21, died before Diaz set the fire.
The case was uncharged for more than 10 years until evidence surfaced that pointed to Diaz, prosecutors said.
“The law eventually catches up to killers,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said. “There usually is evidence and a witness who knows the facts. Sometimes it requires patience, but the truth eventually is revealed.
“I hope that the families of Brendon Anderson and Elias Calcano can find some measure of peace and justice now that their killer has been convicted.”
Kane County Judge Karen Simpson set Diaz’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 20 for motions and to set a sentencing date.