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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Media Coordinator: 630-407-8160

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

West Chicago Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Murdering Cousin

     DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that a West Chicago man accused of killing his cousin two years ago has been sentenced to thirty-five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. This morning, James Hernandez, 22 (d.o.b. 12/20/1995) entered a plea of guilty to one count of First Degree Murder in front of Judge John Kinsella, who handed down the sentence. Hernandez appeared in Bond Court on November 29, 2015, where bond was set at $2 million with 10% to apply. He has been held in the DuPage County Jail since that time.

     On November 20, 2015, at approximately 11:09 p.m., DuPage County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of an injured person, later identified as Hernandez’s cousin, twenty-seven-year-old Enrique Hernandez, from West Chicago, on the side of the road near the intersection of DuPage Road and High Lake Avenue in unincorporated West Chicago. Enrique Hernandez was transported to Central DuPage Hospital where he was pronounced deceased with a gunshot wound to the head. An investigation led by the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the West Chicago Police Department led authorities to James Hernandez. Through their investigation, authorities learned that Enrique and James were traveling together in a vehicle and that while in the vehicle, James shot Enrique in the head. After shooting Enrique in the head, James pushed his body out of the vehicle and drove away. Additionally, James stole Enrique’s cell phone, wallet and money clip after shooting him.              
            “Just over two years ago, James Hernandez fatally shot his cousin Enrique Hernandez in the head,” Berlin said. “This morning, Mr. Hernandez learned that his actions on the night of November 20, 2015 will cost him the next thirty-five years of his life. I would like to thank the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office for their work which allowed us to bring a successful prosecution against Mr. Hernandez. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Mike fisher and Nick Catizone for their efforts in holding James Hernandez responsible for the murder of his cousin, Enrique.”      
            Hernandez will be required to serve 100% of his sentence before being eligible for parole.