Thursday, September 2, 2021
Appellate Court Affirms Life Sentence for Myron Ester
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that the Second District Appellate Court of Illinois has affirmed the conviction and sentence of life without the possibility of parole of Myron Ester for the 2013 murder of Linda Valez.
On September 25, 2013, Glen Ellyn police officers responded to a missing person in the Glen Ellyn area. Through the course of their missing person investigation, officers went to Panfish Park where Valez was known to frequent. Three days later, while
at Panfish Park, officers discovered a disturbed area of vegetation and drops of blood nearby. Further examination of the area revealed a shallow grave in which officers discovered Valez. She had been stabbed thirty-nine times. An investigation led
by the Glen Ellyn Police Department and the Major Crimes Task Force revealed that at some time in the evening of September 24, Valez and Ester had gone to Panfish Park together. While at the park, a verbal altercation between the two turned violent
resulting in Ester stabbing Valez numerous times about the head, neck and torso. On January 17, 2019, following a seven-day-long jury trial, Ester was found guilty of First-Degree Murder. Additionally, the jury also found that the murder was committed
in an exceptionally brutal or heinous manner. On April 2, 2019, Judge Brian Telander sentenced Ester to natural life in the Illinois Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole for the murder plus an additional consecutive five years
for concealment of a homicidal death.
In his appeal, Ester argued that the trial court committed plain error when it failed to adequately question two jurors. The State contended that the error was not reversible because the evidence was not closely balanced. In its affirmation, the Appellate
Court wrote that “whether the State proved that defendant committed first-degree murder is not a close issue.” In support of this, the Appellate Court noted that the “Defendant admitted he deliberately stabbed Valez four or five times, in the side”
and that “This testimony alone proved that defendant intentionally performed acts that he knew created a strong probability of bodily harm to Valez.”
“I would like to thank the Appellate Court for their extremely thorough examination of Mr. Ester’s claims and rejection of those claims,” Berlin said. “With the Appellate Court’s decision, there is no doubt whatsoever that on September 24, 2013, Myron
Ester brutally murdered Linda Valez and in doing so, earned the sentence he so richly deserved, natural life in prison without the possibility of parole. It is my sincerest hope that those who Linda left behind will find some solace in the fact that
the man responsible for her death will never again walk free.”
Presiding Justice Bridges delivered the judgment of the Court with Justice McLaren and Justice Hutchinson concurring.
Ester’s appeal was defended by Kristin Schwind of the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Criminal Appeals Division.