June 14, 2024
Local News

Joliet man gets 45 years for ’09 murder

JOLIET — A Joliet man was sentenced Wednesday to 45 years in prison for the 2009 killing of a man inside the Lois Place apartment complex.

Jesus Zambrano, 23, was found guilty in August of first-degree murder for the May 2009 killing of Robert Gooch. A second Joliet man, Pedro Sanchez, was already tried and convicted for his role in the murder and is serving a 61-year sentence.

Zambrano and Sanchez arrived at Gooch’s girlfriend’s apartment on May 22, 2009, and confronted Gooch, according to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. The girlfriend, Ellissa Hinton, testified that she had a sexual relationship with Sanchez but she wouldn’t leave Gooch for him.

She testified that while she was in her bedroom she heard Sanchez’s voice in the living room and someone saying “my girl.” She then heard a single gunshot and went to the living room to find Gooch bleeding on the floor.

An autopsy revealed Gooch died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. Gooch’s two children were asleep on a sofa bed in the living room at the time of the murder, according the state’s attorney’s office.

“These two thugs committed an act of despicable brutality by gunning down an unarmed man while his two children were asleep in the same room,” State’s Attorney James Glasgow said in a statement. “Jesus Zambrano has been taken off our streets thanks to a first-rate investigation by the Joliet Police Department and top-notch trial work by prosecutors DanWalsh and Tricia McKenna.”

The apartment complex security footage showed Zambrano and Sanchez arriving to the parking lot, getting out of the vehicle, running from the building after Gooch was shot, and driving away from the scene.

A witness testified he saw Zambrano retrieve an object from under the hood of the car before entering the complex.