Life sentence for Aurora man charged in double-murder

Life sentence for Aurora man charged in double-murder

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ST. CHARLES, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A west suburban man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a 1998 double murder in an Aurora alley.

Circuit Judge Karen Simpson sentenced Jaime M. Diaz, 36, to life in prison, according to a release from the Kane County State's Attorney's office. A jury convicted Diaz of two counts of first-degree murder on Jan. 31.

The state had initially sought the death penalty, which was later banned in Illinois.

Diaz went to his girlfriend's Aurora home about midnight March 16, 1998, and found her and her sister in a car with Brendon P. Anderson and Elias Calcano, the state's attorney's office said. Diaz' girlfriend had a previous relationship with Anderson, 21, of Geneva, and was friends with Calcano, 21, of Aurora.

Several hours later, Diaz, Anderson, Calcano and a fourth man were in Anderson's car in an alley in the 700 block of East New York Street in Aurora when Diaz pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and shot Anderson and Calcano once in the back of the head, according to the state's attorney's office. The fourth man fled.

Diaz then beat Calcano in the head with the butt of the gun -- breaking bones and knocking out a tooth, according to the state's attorney's office.

Diaz initially took the bodies out of the car and left, but returned and doused the bodies with gasoline and set them on fire, according to the state's attorney's office. Authorities believe the men died before Diaz set the fire.

Diaz, of the 1600 block of North Marywood Avenue in Aurora, wasn't charged until 2008 when it was learned a beer bottle in Anderson's car contained Diaz's DNA, according to the state's attorney's office. Diaz has been held in the Kane County jail since his arrest.

The fourth man testified that Diaz was drinking beer before the murders took place.

"The families of Brendon Anderson and Elias Calcano waited many years for justice," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said. "They certainly deserve some measure of peace. We hope that this sentence, along with these convictions, helps them move forward."

The life sentence was mandatory because Diaz was convicted of two murders.

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