October 20, 2014
Man gets 122 years for gunning down teenage girlfriend in Romeoville
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow announced today that a Cicero man has been sentenced to 122 years in prison for the brutal murder of his 15-year-old ex-girlfriend and the attempted murder of her mother outside their Romeoville house in February.
The young girl’s mother survived the shooting on Feb. 15 in the 300 block of Emery Avenue.
A jury in September found Erick Maya, 24, guilty of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
The young girl, Briana Valle, and her mother, Alicia Guerrero, were inside their vehicle in front of their home when Maya crept up and shot Briana in the head. He then shot Guerrero as she hovered protectively over her mortally wounded daughter and begged Maya not to shoot. Briana died on Feb. 17. Guerrero testified against Maya during a two-week trial that began Sept. 8.
“This cowardly manipulator killed an innocent girl because he couldn’t stand that she wanted to escape his control. And then he shot her mother, who was fortunate to survive this vicious attack,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Erick Maya will now spend the rest of his life in prison, where he will never control even the smallest aspect of his own life, and where he will never be free to harm another young girl or her family.”
The grief-stricken mother told the jury during the trial how she struggled to stop the older man from seeing her teenage daughter. Her efforts to stop the relationship met with resistance at first from Briana, who ran away to be with Maya. The defendant later gave Briana an engagement ring and sent flowers and balloons to her school for Valentine’s Day in 2013, Guerrero testified.
After Guerrero and her husband moved the family to Romeoville to get away from Maya, the relationship between the defendant and Briana soured. Maya then began sending text messages to Briana threatening to harm her family.
On the day of the shooting, Maya took a cab from Cicero to Romeoville. After shooting the young girl and her mother, Maya fled on foot and was found by police several hours later, hiding under a nearby porch.
The State’s Attorney thanked his prosecutors, Assistant State’s Attorneys Elizabeth Domagalla, Chris Koch and Jim Long for excellent trial work and for securing the public’s safety with a significant prison sentence. He also credited the Romeoville Police Department for its first-rate investigation that brought Maya to justice.