CHICAGO– Diego Uribe was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for the murder of six members of his extended family at their Gage Park home nearly seven years ago.
The brutality of the killings shocked the city in February 2016 when the bodies of the victims – including two young children – were found in the small brick bungalow where the family lived in the 5700 block of South California Avenue.
Uribe was found guilty last month of shooting his aunt, Maria Martinez, 32, in an attic apartment in the house after asking her for money. Uribe then bludgeoned his brother, 38-year-old Noe Martinez, to death when he came to investigate the shooting.
When the siblings’ mother said she would call the police, Uribe pushed Rosaura Martinez, 58, down a flight of stairs and stabbed her repeatedly. Then, with the help of his girlfriend, Jafeth Ramos, they broke through the house stealing various items, including an Xbox and the contents of a piggy bank.
After forcing Maria Martinez’s children – Leonardo Cruz, 13, and her brother, Alexis Cruz, 10 – to help retrieve the items, Uribe stabbed them repeatedly. Uribe waited for their grandfather, 62-year-old Noe Martinez Sr., to come home with food for the family and killed him too.
A jury found Uribe guilty of six counts of murder on October 5 after more than 10 hours of deliberation.
Uribe declined to give a statement on Monday before his sentencing, offering no further explanation as to why he targeted members of his own family for theft and then decided to kill everyone living in the house.
His lawyers said in court that they intended to appeal.
Surviving family members who testified against Uribe, including Armando Cruz, whose wife and two children were murdered, did not attend the hearing on Monday.
Prosecutors noted that the two lived in Mexico and said they did not send written statements to be read at the hearing.
Ramos, who testified extensively against Uribe during his trial, is expected to be sentenced next month. The 25-year-old pleaded guilty last year to a reduced charge of armed robbery as part of a deal with prosecutors that will include a recommended sentence of 25 years in prison.
Uribe and Ramos have been locked up in the Cook County Jail since their arrest several months after the murder when detectives linked Uribe to the massacre through DNA evidence and cellphone records.
Both made confessions while in police custody. Prosecutors played excerpts from it during the trial.
Howard agreed to delay Uribe’s transfer to jail for a week so that Uribe could have one last visit with his and Ramos’ young son.
Source: ( Sun-Times Media Wire – Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2021.)