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Man admits killing co-worker at Burr Ridge trucking company

John Gilbert

John Gilbert

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Updated: February 2, 2012 1:48PM

John Gilbert lured salesman Jason Dragos into their Burr Ridge office by calling an urgent weekend meeting, then shot him in the neck and hid his body in a closet, DuPage County prosecutors said.

Gilbert on Tuesday pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder for gunning down the 38-year-old Drago on Feb. 8, 2009.

Just after the shooting, Gilbert sent an e-mail in which Dragos purportedly resigned from the company — contending he had been ordered to tail Gilbert and report on his activities, prosecutors said.

Gilbert, meanwhile, entered a hospital, claiming he was ill.

The strange claims began to unravel when Dragos’ body was found a day later at SAIA Trucking, where he worked for Gilbert.

Dragos’ wife called police after he failed to return to their Highland, Ind., home after the impromptu Sunday business meeting arranged by Gilbert.

During their investigation, police determined the e-mail had been sent to company officials by Gilbert, not Dragos, prosecutors said.

The guilty plea means the 48-year-old Gilbert faces a 20- to 60-year prison term when he is sentenced in December for what DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin called a “senseless murder.”

“While his admission will not bring Jason back to those who loved him, perhaps it will allow them to move forward with their lives and their memories of Jason, knowing the man who killed Jason will be held responsible for his death,” Berlin said in a statement.

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