By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2019 Journal GlobaLinks)
WAUKEGAN, Illinois (JGL) – Jury selection starts Monday (March 11) ahead of the jury trial of a man from Beach Park, Illinois accused of beating his Filipino American wife and his stepson to
death with a baseball bat, claiming he caught his wife molesting the boy before the deadly encounter.
Circuit Court Judge James K. Booras of the 19th Judicial Circuit in Lake County in Waukegan, Illinois will preside over the selection of jurors, who will weigh in if Armando Trejo, Jr., 50, of Beach Park will be found guilty or spared from a natural life in prison for bludgeoning to death his wife, Lailani Uy Trejo, 43, and stepson, Patrick K. Cruz Uy, 14, more than three years ago inside their home in Beach Park.
State prosecutors said trial will start in earnest as soon as the jury selection is constituted.
They will be presenting about 17 witnesses, including Trejo's then 68-year-old mother, who was hit when she tried to stop her son from attacking his wife.
Trejo later admitted to attacking his wife during an argument and the fatal beating of his 14-year-old stepson, who tried to stop the assault.
ACCUSED WANTS A REDUCED CHARGE FROM FIRST-DEGREE TO SECOND DEGREE
Defense lawyers will argue for a reduced charge from first-degree to second-degree murders, saying the attack was not premeditated. If the jury finds Trejo guilty of second-degree murders, Trejo faces imprisonment from four to 20 years. A conviction of first-degree murder means the life sentence should be completed and there is no early release.
Court records show that Trejo was “acting under a sudden and intense passion” when he assaulted the victims. Trejo later told a psychologist that he “caught his wife molesting their son, and that is why he beat them with a baseball bat.”
In the days before the killings, Trejo and his wife were exchanging text messages over Trejo's infidelity. Prosecutors argued that it was the “ongoing argument and observable marital discord [that] is true reason the defendant murdered his wife. Not the salacious molestation story the defendant claimed.”
Emergency calls from Lailani Uy Trejo in the morning of the attack say she “needs police” and “she was dying and bleeding.” Sounds of an aluminum bat were heard striking her.
Trejo's father was in the house during the attack but was not injured.
Trejo remains in custody on a $5-million bail on all charges.
At about 2:45 a.m. On Nov. 29, 2015, after receiving a call from Lailani Trejo, sheriff's deputies arrived at the house at 10200 block of West Bairstow Avenue and saw Trejo outside.
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