News - Joliet and Will County

Homeless man charged in Joliet murder of man struck by Metra train

Carlos Hernandez

A homeless man has been charged with the murder of another homeless man in Joliet by pushing him off of a train platform at the Metra train station and causing him to die from a train running him over.

On Thursday, Judge Fred Harvey set a $1 million bond for Carlos Hernandez, 49, who has been charged with the Oct. 26 first-degree murder of Steven Spangler, 60, of Joliet. Harvey told Hernandez he faces between 20 to 60 years in prison if convicted of the charge.

At 11:48 p.m. Wednesday, Hernandez was booked into the Will County jail following an investigation by officers with the Metra Police Department, who responded to the incident. A crew with the Joliet Fire Department had also responded to the incident about 3:40 a.m. on Oct. 26.

Investigators had obtained video footage of the incident that showed Hernandez, who’s homeless, grabbing and pushing Spangler, who’s also homeless, causing him to fall backward and down on the tracks at the Rock Island train platform in Joliet, according to Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Marie Griffin.

A train had run over Spangler at that time and he was decapitated, Griffin said.

Hernandez was interviewed by police about the incident and he admitted to pushing Spangler, Griffin said.

Griffin said that Hernandez has several felony convictions out of New York. She recommended a $1 million bond.

Hernandez was assigned Will County Assistant Public Defender Julie Primozic as his attorney during Thursday’s court hearing. She asked him how much money he could post.

“Not a million dollars, nope,” Hernandez said.

Primozic asked for a reasonable bond. Harvey decided to set it at the amount recommended by the state.