July 27, 2006
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that a grand jury has indicted a former Joliet man on murder charges for the 2001 slaying of 24-year-old Darnell Washington.
Paul Quintero, 29, was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder this week. He is alleged to have shot Washington multiple times on Nov. 2, 2001.
The victim’s body was discovered on the side of Farrell Road near U.S. 6. A sport utility vehicle Washington had been driving that evening had been torched and was found at another location.
The 2001 murder could qualify the defendant for the death penalty if he is convicted. Glasgow said he will scrutinize the case before determining whether to pursue the death penalty.
“I will thoroughly review the facts of this case and the defendant's history before I make the decision in consultation with my senior prosecutors,” Glasgow said. “By law, we have 120 days to thoroughly review all of the factors in aggravation and mitigation.”
Quintero currently is serving a 38-year prison sentence at Pontiac Correctional Center for the 2000 shooting death of Michael Ceja in Joliet. The Ceja murder was still under investigation and Quintero had yet to be arrested when Washington was killed in November 2001.
Glasgow credited Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas and his detectives for diligently pursuing the Washington case over the years. Their work led to the arrest of another man, Joseph Gonzalez, 26, of Joliet, in July 2005 for his role in Washington’s murder.
Gonzalez, who was with the victim on the night he was killed, pleaded guilty in April of this year to aggravated discharge of a firearm. He is serving a 15-year sentence in the Shawnee Correctional Center.
The state’s attorney also thanked the victim’s family members for their patience during the protracted investigation.
“Darnell Washington was brutally murdered and his body was callously dumped in the road,” Glasgow said. “His grieving family contacted me shortly after I took office in late 2004 and asked me to review the case. I want to thank them for their persistence and their patience. They have waited a long time to see justice served, and they deserve to have their day in court.”
Quintero is scheduled to appear for arraignment at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 8 in courtroom 405 at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet.
The Will County State's Attorney's Office reminds the public that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Charles B. Pelkie
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)
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