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Melrose Park man gets 38 years for role in shooting death

A man charged for his role in a drug rip-off at an Aurora residence that exploded into gunfire and resulted in a death was sentenced Thursday to 38 years in prison.

Jorge Diaz, 24, of Melrose Park, pleaded guilty Thursday in Kane County court to one count of first-degree murder stemming from the death of Hector Valtierrez, 28, of Chicago.

Authorities allege that Diaz and Valtierrez came to a house in the 600 block of Root Street in Aurora on Oct. 1, 2008, having made arrangements to buy five kilos of cocaine from two men. Diaz and Valtierrez, however, actually intended to rob the men of the drugs, according to prosecutors.

A gun battle erupted inside the house, and Valtierrez was fatally shot by one of the sellers. Prosecutors charged Diaz with murder because Valtierrez was killed during the commission of a forcible felony – armed robbery.

The man who police say actually shot Valtierrez, Juan Herrera of Prescott, Wis., was convicted of murder and sentenced last month to 46 years in prison. Herrera also was shot during the gun battle.

“Whenever guns and drugs are involved, the inevitable outcome will be prison or death. In this case, it was both. Mr. Diaz now has a long timeout to think about where his life went wrong,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com

Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

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