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Man gets 75-year sentence in beating and shooting death of teen

Jovanny Martinez / Phofrom Cook County Sheriff's office

Jovanny Martinez / Photo from Cook County Sheriff's office

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Updated: June 28, 2013 1:29AM

The last time Yeimi Tirado saw her son, she gave him a haircut and a shave.

The teenager asked her not to touch his trademark shag that he had since he was born but he didn’t seem to mind being babied.

“He was looking so handsome,” Tirado said.

Hours later on a spring day four years ago, Alex Arellano’s badly beaten, burned and barely recognizable body turned up on the Southwest Side.

Arellano was pummeled with baseball bats, run over by a car, shot in the head and burned by a pack of gang members because he refused to “throw up a crown” in support of the Latin Kings, according to Cook County prosecutors.

“I ask myself what kind of human being does this,” Tirado said as one of her son’s killers was sentenced to 75 years in prison Thursday.

Jovanny Martinez was one of five bicycle riding youths who accosted Arellano as he tried to make his way to a friend’s birthday party before the May 2009 murder in the 3000 block of West 54th.

The gang bangers asked him “what he was about.”

And when Arellano said he was about “nothing,” it started the torturous chain reaction, assistant state’s attorney John Maher said.

“My heart aches every time I think of the pain and fear that my son must have felt trying to get away from these savages,” Tirado said in a statement read by Maher.

Martinez, 19, made a short statement in court but fell short of admitting his role in the crime, prompting Judge Maura Slattery Boyle to chastise him for his lack of remorse and acceptance.

“Your young age doesn’t excuse your behavior...You knew what you were doing was wrong,” Boyle told Martinez, adding that Arellano’s murder was the most “savage and horrific” cases she has ever heard.

Before his murder, Arellano told Tirado he was about to be a father and had plans to go back to school and join the Army, according to Tirado’s statement.

He was a “good boy” and was on his way to being the “best father,” Maher said, reading Tirado’s statement.

“I cannot look at alleys or houses similar to the ones where my son was murdered because I hurt and I start having flashbacks because all I keep thinking is about what Alex went through how everything happened and what happened,” Tirado’s statement said.

Two others — Alisa Campos, 26, and Edgar Silva, 22, — have already pleaded guilty to their roles in Alex’s murder.

Campos is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence.

Silva is in the midst of serving a 20-year prison sentence.

Another co-defendant, Erick Ortiz, is awaiting trial.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a fifth person, 25-year-old Louis Macedo, Maher said.

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