Round Lake Beach man charged in shooting death of fellow gang member, prosecutor says

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A Round Lake Beach man has been charged with first-degree murder for shooting another village resident 11 times on a January night at a forest preserve in DuPage County, authorities said.

Francisco A. Maldonado, 31, of the 500 block of Golfview Drive, is being held at the DuPage County jail on $1 million bail. He faces a single count of first-degree murder for the death of Francisco J. Zavala, 26, of Round Lake Beach on Jan. 29. Authorities said both men were confirmed to be gang members.

Zavala’s body was found by a horse-rider March 3 about 30 feet off Munger Road in the Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve in Wayne.

At a bond hearing Saturday morning, DuPage Assistant State’s Attorney Nicole Wilkes-English said Zavala and Maldonado belonged to the same gang, and that the shooting was related to an internal dispute.

“This is a brutal gang execution that occurred near residential homes in Wayne,” Wilkes-English said.

Zavala’s family reported him missing Feb. 7 and believed he had taken a train to Chicago with the intent to travel on to Indiana to visit a girlfriend. But, a Wayne resident called police the night of Jan. 29 to report hearing gunshots in the 4N600 block of Munger Road. Wayne police found blood droplets in the snow that night, but did not find a body, Wilkes-English said.

Zavala’s cellphone was found near his body. Investigators were able to determine the phone had been in Grayslake, Round Lake, Mundelein, Elgin, South Elgin, West Chicago and Wayne that day.

They found surveillance video from a drugstore in Elgin that showed a pickup truck with a distinctive decal traveling through one of the spots at the same time as the cellphone, and then confirmed the truck also had been in the vicinity of the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin at the same time as Zavala’s phone.

Investigators found the truck registered to a McHenry County man. The truck was seized April 7 when a search warrant was served at the man’s home.

The brother of a gang member lived with Zavala.

A gang member lured Zavala out of the pickup truck asking him to look at a house on Munger, Wilkes-English said. She said after the shooting, Maldonado called another gang member.

Maldonado would have to post $100,000 bond to be freed pretrial, and wear a GPS monitor. His next court date is May 2.