Man charged in Halloween 2008 murder case
From Staff Reports August 1, 2012 9:04PM
George Martinez is a suspect in a Halloween 2008 gang-related shooting death in Elgin. | Courtesy of Elgin Police Department
Updated: September 3, 2012 1:27PM
A man accused of committing a murder in Elgin in October 2008 was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.
Police said a first-degree murder warrant issued in December 2008 alleges that George Martinez, who was then an 18-year-old resident of the 800 block of Parkway Avenue in Elgin, shot 16-year-old Elginite Jaime Benitez after a gang-related fight broke out at a Halloween party in the 500 block of Douglas Avenue in Elgin.
Police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault said detectives identified Martinez as a suspect early in the case but Martinez had fled from the United States. Through cooperation with the U.S. Marshall’s Office and Mexican law-enforcement officials, Martinez was arrested at his family’s home in Morelos Coahuila, Mexico on June 22, 2011, and was jailed in Mexico while he awaited extradition hearings.
Theriault said Martinez finally was extradited Wednesday to the U.S., where Elgin detectives met U.S. marshalls at O’Hare International Airport and took him into custody. “This case demonstrates how persistent Elgin detectives are,” said Police Chief Jeffrey Swoboda. “Neither time nor distance will prove to be a barrier when bringing a violent offender to justice.”
His bail, originally set in 2008 when the warrant was issued at $2 million, was continued, meaning Benitez would need to post 10 percent of that for bond, or $200,000, to be released.
His next court date was set for Aug. 24.