State's Attorney: 'Sadly, Many Lives — Including His Own — Were Destroyed'

State’s Attorney: ‘Sadly, Many Lives — Including His Own — Were Destroyed’

An Aurora man with a history of violence faces another long prison sentence after being convicted a second time of murder.

Chavez K. Saulsberry, 26, last address of the 800 block of Taylor Avenue, Aurora, was convicted late Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, by a Kane County jury of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. In addition, the jury found that Saulsberry personally discharged the firearm in both offenses.

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes to reach the verdicts.

Prosecutors presented evidence that at 11 a.m. Nov. 28, 2005, Saulsberry was a passenger in a Ford mini-van with several fellow street gang members. The men were hunting for any street gang rivals to kill. In the intersection of Smith Street and East Galena Boulevard they spotted a white 1995 Oldsmobile 98 that contained 27-year-old Michael Moore and a second man. The van pulled along the left side of the Oldsmobile, and co-defendant Ruben Hernandez, 32, last address of the 300 block of Superior Street, Aurora, held open the sliding side door of the van while Saulsberry fired a 9mm semiautomatic handgun at the Oldsmobile. Moore was struck with multiple bullets and killed, and another man in the Oldsmobile was struck with a bullet but survived.

Circuit Judge James C. Hallock set Saulsberry’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 29, 2016, in Courtroom 313. The hearing is for post-trial motions and sentencing. Saulsberry faces a sentence of between 71 years and life in prison. The sentence would be served consecutive to a 55-year prison sentence he is serving for the November 2005 gang-initiation murder of 21-year-old Montrell Fluellen of Aurora.

Saulsberry is not eligible for a mandatory life sentence because he was a juvenile when he committed both murders.

Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon

Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon

Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder for his role in Moore’s death. He is serving a life sentence for the murder, as well as for the 2005 beating death of 21-year-old Jorge Caro of Aurora.

“Mr. Saulsberry proved at a young age that he was a threat to the community, and that he was only interested in doing whatever necessary to join a gang and further its interests. This conviction and his sentence, whatever it will be, is the price he must pay,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.

“He and his fellow gang members carried out a vicious crime in broad daylight on the streets of Aurora, a crime that seemingly came straight from the script of a violent movie. They did so despite the fact that street gang association almost always results in death or prison.

“Mr. Saulsberry had a chance to take a better path. Unfortunately for him, his family, and for the many victims of his violence, he chose the wrong direction for his life. Sadly, many lives — including his own — were destroyed because of his decisions.

“My thanks to the members of the Aurora Police Department who investigated this case and assisted in this trial. My thanks also to our trial team of Assistant State’s Attorneys Mark D. Stajdohar, Kelly M. Orland and Bianca Camargo, who prosecuted this case.”

SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office news release

CREDIT: Kane County State's Attorney's Office

Chavez K. Saulsberry. CREDIT: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office