Man held without bond for shooting of teen near Willowbrook
Juan M. Cuellar
Updated: November 5, 2012 6:19AM
UNINCORPORATED WILLOWBROOK — After firing five shots into 18-year-old Joshua Holmes, Juan Cuellar jumped out of his car and walked up to the dying teen, DuPage County prosecutors said.
Cuellar allegedly kicked Holmes, then asked him a question.
“Have you had enough?” Cuellar asked, according to DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.
Cuellar, 23, was charged Sept. 27 with first-degree murder for the drive-by shooting that killed Holmes as he walked near his home in unincorporated Willowbrook.
The shooting on Monday followed a Sept. 6 clash in which Cuellar allegedly threatened Holmes with a gun and accused him of ripping off a relative in an earlier $90 marijuana sale, authorities said.
In an unusual step, prosecutors charged Cuellar’s mother with obstructing justice for allegedly helping her son dump the .40-caliber handgun used in the shooting and lying to police investigating the murder.
Cuellar, of 10S710 Lilac Lane, Willowbrook, was ordered jailed without bond. Bail for his mother, 43-year-old Elva Hernandez, was set at $150,000.
Three witnesses identified Cuellar as the gunman who shot Holmes about 6:35 p.m. as the teen walked home with friends from a fast-food restaurant, Berlin said during a bond hearing.
When Holmes approached Cuellar’s car, Cuellar allegedly pointed a pistol out the passenger window and opened fire, Berlin said.
Cuellar fired six shots, five of which hit Holmes, who died at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital less than an hour later.
Cuellar later told his mother he had carried out the shooting and she drove with him to the St. Charles area, where he tossed the handgun, Berlin said.
But a fisherman the next day found the weapon — taped to a five-pound dumbbell — and contacted police.
“These senseless killings have got to stop,” Berlin said. “Day after day we hear stories of street violence that have claimed the life of yet another young person. People have got to learn that violence is never the answer. An 18 year-old boy has been taken from his family and the man accused of his murder is now in jail facing a potential life sentence.”
Cuellar’s next court date is scheduled for Oct. 10 in front of Judge Daniel Guerin.
Berlin credited investigators for their work in solving the case, particularly detectives Dave Chiesa and Tony Davis, Sgt. Dave Sand, and assistant state’s attorneys Tim Diamond and Steve Knight.
DuPage County court records show Cuellar has previous arrests for mob action and unlawful use of a weapon in Wheaton, possession of alcohol by a minor in Elmhurst and disorderly conduct in Villa Park, to which he pled guilty in 2009.
According to his Facebook page, Cuellar recently began taking classes at College of DuPage and works at Home Depot in Oakbrook Terrace.
He lists himself as a member of the Glenbard West High School Class of 2008.