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Attempted Murder Suspect Extradited to Chicago After 18 Years

August 24th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, the Chicago Police Department has succeeded in extraditing 55-year-old Jose Hernandez Saldana from California on attempted murder charges from 1994. Saldana is currently being held in the Cook County Jail without bond.

On September 15, 1994, Saldana allegedly shot Carlos Munoz at the home of Saldana’s estranged wife, who had a protection order against Saldana. After fingerprints tied Saldana to the attempted murder, an arrest warrant was issued for Saldana, but he fled before appearing in court. State and federal authorities at the time were told that Saldana had fled Chicago for his native Mexico, and they closed Saldana’s fugitive case in January, 1996, when investigators were unable to locate him there.

In May, 2012, however, the Area South Cold Case squad of the Chicago Police Department began to review the case, and a few months later, asked the FBI to reopen its fugitive investigation of Saldana. Investigators had learned that Saldana’s son had been arrested in California and his vehicle impounded. After the vehicle was released to a man named Carlos Rosalio Gonzalez, investigators compared the fingerprints on file for Gonzalez’s California driver’s license to Saldana’s fingerprints, and that they matched. Based on this information, Saldana was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in U.S. District Court in Chicago on July 19, 2012, and arrested a day later in Lawndale, CA. After being held by the Los Angeles Police Department for some time, Saldana was extradited to Chicago.

Not only does Saldana face serious state criminal charges of attempted murder, but he also is now facing federal criminal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Convictions on either or both of these charges could result in significant prison time, as well as other adverse consequences. However, a person in Saldana’s position would definitely benefit from a strong defense.

Especially in a case such as this, when so many years have passed, evidence is old, witnesses may have difficulty remembering or cannot be located, and other similar problems may arise with the prosecution’s case. An experienced and aggressive Cook County criminal defense attorney can be key to avoiding a criminal conviction or lessening the punishment received for any conviction.

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