Chicago teen who murdered 15-year-old Elias Valdez given probation

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Chicago teen who murdered 15-year-old Elias Valdez given probation

A Chicago teenager who pleaded guilty to murdering a 15-year-old boy in a bad drug deal was given a wrist-slap sentence of three-years probation this week.

The 17-year-old defendant, who hasn’t been publicly named, was sentenced on Monday in the fatal stabbing of Elias Valdez in the suburb of Glenview in August 2020.

He was given probation, 100 hours of community service and ordered to undergo counseling in exchange for pleading guilty to second-degree murder, the Daily Herald reported.

Police said the stabbing unfolded after Valdez, who was a member of his high school wrestling team, tried to buy marijuana from the defendant.

Valdez was stabbed repeatedly in the chest with a utility tool after he tried to take the drugs without paying and got into a fight with the defendant, police said.

He was pronounced dead in hospital later that day.

In handing down his sentence, Cook County Judge Steven Bernstein told the defendant, “I see a child like you who has two parents concerned with his welfare … a bright kid with a bright future, and I wonder what are you doing in my courtroom.

“I don’t think you’re a murderer, but you killed this child and you have to live with that for the rest of your life.”

The victim’s family had wanted the defendant to be charged with first-degree murder. They held protests outside the local police department late last year when he was charged with the lesser count.

Valdez’s mother, Marcela Fierros, delivered a victim impact statement at the defendant’s sentencing, saying she doesn’t believe justice was served with probation.

“When the defendant stabbed my son, he stabbed the heart of my family,” she said.

“A mother doesn’t expect to bury a child so young and much less in such a tragic and overwhelming way,” Fierros said.

“He was only 15 years old and had so many dreams to accomplish … His goals were to graduate from high school, study law enforcement and become a police officer.”

Defense attorney David Kerstein denied that his client had received “special treatment.”

“There is no privilege here,” he said.

“It takes two to make a drug deal. Mr. Valdez was a buyer.”

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