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DuPage man charged in Willowbrook drive-by murder

Updated: September 27, 2012 6:15PM



After firing five shots into 18-year-old Joshua Holmes, Juan Cuellar jumped out of his car and walked up to the dying teen, DuPage County prosecutors said.

Cuellar allegedly kicked Holmes, then asked him a question.

“Have y u had enough?” Cuellar asked, according to DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.

Cuellar, 23, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder for the drive-by shooting that killed Holmes as he walked near his home in unincorporated Willowbrook.

The shooting on Monday followed a Sept. 6 clash in which Cuellar allegedly threatened Holmes with a gun and accused him of ripping off a relative in an earlier $90 marijuana sale, authorities said.

In an unusual step, prosecutors charged Cuellar’s mother with obstructing justice for allegedly helping her son dump the .40-caliber handgun used in the shooting and lying to police investigating the murder.

Cuellar was ordered jailed without bond. Bail for his mother, 43-year-old Elva Hernandez, was set at $150,000.

“These senseless killings have got to stop,” Berlin said. “People have got to learn that violence is never the answer.”

Three witnesses identified Cuellar as the gunman who shot Holmes about 6:35 p.m. as the teen walked home with friends from a fast-food restaurant, Berlin said during a bond hearing.

When Holmes approached Cuellar’s car, Cuellar allegedly pointed a pistol out the passenger window and opened fire, Berlin said.

Cuellar fired six shots, five of which hit Holmes, who died at a suburban hospital less than an hour later.

Cuellar later told his mother he had carried out the shooting and she drove with him to the St. Charles area, where he tossed the handgun, Berlin said.

But a fisherman the next day found the weapon — taped to a five-pound dumbbell — and contacted police.



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