JOLIET – Will County State’sAttorney James Glasgow announced that a Joliet man has been convicted of murderin connection with the shooting death of a man inside the Lois Place apartmentcomplex in 2009.
A jury deliberated for roughly six hours before finding Jesus Zambrano, 23, guilty of one count offirst-degree murder for the killing of Robert Gooch on May 22, 2009. The juryreached its verdict on Tuesday evening.
Another man, Pedro Sanchez, alsoof Joliet, already has been convicted of first-degree murder in connection withthis shooting and is serving a 61-year prison sentence.
Zambrano faces between 35 and75 years in prison when he is sentenced by Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak onOct. 23. He is eligible for an enhanced sentence because the state proved he wasarmed with a firearm during the commission of this murder.
Zambrano and Sanchez confrontedGooch at the apartment of Gooch’s girlfriend, Ellissa Hinton, according to trialtestimony. Hinton testified she was having sex occasionally with Sanchez, butthat she wouldn’t allow their relationship to go further by leaving Gooch.
Hinton testified she and Goochhad watched the NBA playoffs and had gone to bed on the night of the murder.Later that evening, Gooch answered the apartment’s buzzer while she remained inthe bedroom. She testified she heard Sanchez’s voice in the living room andsomeone saying “my girl” just before she heard a single gunshot.
She went to the living roomto find Gooch lying on the floor bleeding from the head. An autopsy later revealedGooch died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Gooch’s two youngchildren were sleeping on a sofa bed in the living room at the time of themurder.
“In a despicable act ofbrutality, Zambrano and Sanchez gunned down an unarmed man while his twochildren were sleeping in the same room,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Thanksto a first-rate investigation by the Joliet Police Department and top-notchtrial work by two fine prosecutors, it will be a long time before JesusZambrano can even begin to think about walking our streets.”
Assistant State’s Attorneys DanWalsh and Tricia McKenna entered into evidence security tapes from the apartmentcomplex showing Zambrano and Sanchez arriving at the parking lot in the Sanchez’scar, getting out of the vehicle and then returning to the car before drivingaway. A witness testified he saw Zambrano retrieve an object from under thehood of Sanchez’s car before the two entered the apartment complex. Zambranoand Sanchez were caught on video running from the building after Gooch wasshot.
Glasgow also thanked hischief investigator, Jim Stewart, for going the extra mile to locate a reluctantwitness whose testimony was crucial to the successful prosecution of this case.