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Teen allegedly decapitated aunt’s boyfriend after he was asked to move out

Alexis Valdez  |  Chicago Police photo

Alexis Valdez | Chicago Police photo

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Updated: January 29, 2014 6:09AM



When Alexis Valdez’s aunt told her do-nothing nephew that she wanted him out of her Northwest Side apartment, he decided to leave her a Christmas Eve “present.”

The gift Valdez left on his aunt’s bed, Cook County prosecutors alleged in court Friday, was the severed head of her boyfriend, Silvestre Diaz-Hernandez.

After prosecutors outlined one of the more gruesome crimes in recent memory at the George Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered Valdez — a slight 18-year-old with no known criminal history — held without bond.

In court, Assistant State’s Attorney Kingsley Sawyers said Valdez moved in with his aunt and Diaz-Hernandez about six months ago. Valdez was allowed to move into the apartment, in the 2500 block of N. Kildare, on the condition that he go to school, work and contribute to household expenses, Sawyers said. But eventually, Valdez stopped working and he was asked to move out.

On Christmas Eve, while the aunt was attending a party, Valdez started drinking and became angry at being forced to move out. At some point, Diaz-Hernandez came home to the apartment and went with Valdez to a store to buy more beer.

“Before leaving to go to the store, the defendant took a hammer from the porch and hid it by the door so that he could kill the victim after they returned home,” Sawyers said.

When Valdez and Diaz-Hernandez returned, Valdez unleashed his fury, smashing Diaz-Hernandez in the head multiple times with the hammer, prosecutors alleged. Diaz-Hernandez fell to the floor. When Diaz-Hernandez was dead, Valdez dismembered the body, eventually cutting off Diaz-Hernandez’s head as he played loud music to conceal his actions, Sawyers said.

Valdez also used a butcher knife to cut off Diaz-Hernandez’s ears, nose and mouth, Sawyers said. Valdez allegedly continued acting on his rage by pulling out Diaz-Hernandez’s eyes with his bare hands. He also cut off Diaz-Hernandez’s arms and sliced the dead man’s torso from his neck to his pelvis, Sawyers said.

Valdez left the head, ears and nose on Diaz-Hernandez’s bed because he wanted to leave his aunt a present, Sawyers said.

Valdez eventually became exhausted from cutting up the body, Sawyers said. He called 911 to report a dead body. When the 911 operator asked Valdez if he’d tried CPR, “the defendant laughed and told the 911 operator that the victim had been decapitated,” Sawyers said.

When police arrived, Valdez was covered in blood and admitted to killing Diaz-Hernandez, Sawyers said.

“The defendant also admitted that he was angry with his aunt and the victim, and that if his aunt had come home and seen the victim’s body, then he would have killed her as well,” Sawyers said.

Diaz-Hernandez had two biological children, a 17-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son. He also had four step children, his stepdaughter Melissa Edwards said in an email to the Sun-Times.

His biological daughter, Selena Diaz, described him as a “fun and loving person.”

“My father was a good person, he never did anything to anyone,” Selena Diaz said.

Diaz-Hernandez was born in Guerrero, Mexico and loved to watch moves, eat take-out food, play soccer and have family barbecues, family members said.

“We lost our mother [in] November 2012 to lupus and he was there every step of the way,” Edwards said. “Now that he was taken from us, all six of us kids are left with no parent figures in our lives. He will be truly missed.”

Contributing: Michael Lansu

Email: sesposito@suntimes.com

Twitter: @slesposito



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