Latin Kings gang member found guilty in 2009 triple slaying
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter May 15, 2014 4:52PM
Martin Ybarra was sentenced to life in prison for killing three Chicago teens in 2009. | Provided
Updated: May 15, 2014 7:27PM
A Cook County jury Thursday convicted a Latin Kings gang member of gunning down three teenage boys as he aimed for a rival gang member on the Southeast Side five years ago.
Martin “Slim” Ybarra missed his target, a member of the Black P Stone gang, on Feb. 20, 2009.
But he shot 13-year-old Johnny Edwards and Bowen High students Kendrick Pitts, 17, and Raheem Washington, 15, prosecutors said.
As Ybarra awaited the jury’s decision, his co-defendant, Geovanni Lopez, was acquitted Thursday after his bench trial before Judge Steve Goebel.
Prosecutors said Lopez, 24, retrieved the loaded assault weapon for Ybarra before the shooting. But Goebel, in issuing his verdict, said there was no evidence that Lopez was at the scene of the crime.
The slayings occurred near 87th Street and Exchange Avenue.
Ybarra initiated his bloody siege on foot and ended it with his body hanging outside a car near that intersection, spraying bullets from an Eastern European rifle.
“Run, n - - - - -, run. Die n - - - - -, die,” Ybarra screamed from the car, Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Leafblad said in his closing arguments.
Just six months before the triple murders, Ybarra, now 25, stood trial for a fatal shooting near the same corner in 2005. He was acquitted.
Assistant Public Defender Ruth McBeth told jurors Thursday that some of the prosecution’s witnesses were unreliable and described her client as a “convenient patsy” in the teenage boys’ murders.