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Fourth man charged in murder of Highland Park man

Anthony Martinez 19 HighlPark was charged with obstructijustice connectiwith murder ColNutter HighlPark resident. | Phosubmitted

Anthony, Martinez, 19, of Highland Park, was charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the murder of Colin Nutter, a Highland Park resident. | Photo submitted

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Updated: July 1, 2013 8:31PM

A fourth man has been charged in the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Highland Park man whose body was found off the Edens Expy. in Wilmette.

Officials said Colin Nutter, 20, of Highland Park, was murdered in a car Highwood then dropped near the expressway in Wilmette on June 3. Three Highland Park residents were charged with first-degree murder.

Bond was set at $100,000 this weekend for Francisco Anthony Martinez, 19. Martinez is charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly providing investigators with false information in the Nutter murder investigation, according to court records.

Martinez, of the 2600 block of Sumit, Highland Park may have provided the .40-caliber gun to Benjamin Schenk, 20, Philip Vatamaniuc, 17, and Michael Coffee, 17, to kill Nutter, Assistant State’s Attorney Reginald Mathews said.

Martinez’s parents kept guns in the house, Mathews said. An investigation is under way to determine whether Martinez gave the .40 caliber handgun to the three men, Mathews said.

“At this point, we don’t know if the gun came from (Martinez’s) house. It’s being tested at the state crime lab,” Mathews said.

Schenk, Vatamaniuc and Coffee are known to have spent the night at Martinez’s house when Martinez’s parents were not home, Mathews said.

The three men allegedly met Nutter in his car to purchase marijuana on June 3, official said.

Officials said Coffee and Vatamaniuc gave statements that Schenk shot Nutter in the head. Schenk and Vatamaniuc then moved Nutter into the trunk of his own vehicle and drove it to the area in Wilmette where officials later found Nutter’s body, officials said.

The three men charged with first-degree murder are in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $5 million bond. They are each due for arraignment July 2.

Martinez is in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond. He is due for bond review July 3.

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