(Tribune illustration)

A Kane County jury returned guilty verdicts Thursday night in the trial of an Aurora man accused of a double murder.

After about three hours of deliberation, the jury found Jaime M. Diaz, 35, guilty of the first-degree murders of Brendon Anderson, 21, of Geneva, and Elias Calcano, 21, of Aurora

The two men’s shot and burned bodies were found in an Aurora alley on March 16, 1998.  The crime went unsolved until 2008, when police arrested Diaz partly based on advances in DNA testing.

A forensic specialist testified earlier this week that Diaz’s DNA was found on a beer bottle in the back seat of Anderson’s car, which was parked near the bodies.

“The defendant committed the crime. The defendant tried to cover it up. Now, 15 years later, it’s time he pays for it,” Assistant State’s Atty. Greg Sams told jurors in closing arguments.

Diaz, prosecutors said, knew both victims and had encountered them earlier on the night of the slayings when Diaz came to the home of his girlfriend and found her and her sister sitting with the two men in Anderson’s car.

Sams said the girlfriend had a previous relationship with both victims.

“Perhaps this is a case of someone just getting tired of people messing around with his girlfriend,” Sams told jurors.

Judge Karen Simpson set a February status date for Diaz, who will face a mandatory sentence of natural life in prison, Sams said.

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