Diego Uribe found guilty in murders of six family members in Gage Park

CHICAGO (CBS) — On Feb. 4, 2016, six people – including two children – were murdered in their family home in Gage Park.

On Wednesday, more than six years later, a jury found a relative of the victims, Diego Uribe, guilty of first-degree murder in all six slayings.

As CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reported, the jury deliberated for at least 10 hours before reaching their verdict. Uribe stared straight ahead as the judge told him the next step – he will be back for sentencing on Monday, Nov. 7.

Uribe faces life in prison.

Police were first called to a home in the 5700 block of South California Avenue for a wellbeing check. It turned into a multi-murder crime scene.

Six members of one family were found dead – 62-year-old Noe Martinez Sr.; his wife, 58-year-old Rosaura Martinez; their son, 38-year-old Noe Martinez Jr; their daughter 32-year-old Maria Herminia Martinez; and her two sons, 13-year-old Leonardo Cruz and 10-year-old Alexis Cruz. Most of the victims had been stabbed multiple times.

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Investigators suspected at the time that the killer or killers knew the victims, because none of them were found restrained.

Four months later, police arrested Uribe and his then-girlfriend, Jafeth Ramos. They were charged with six counts of murder each.

Authorities said Uribe, a cousin and nephew of the victims, tried to take money from his family – but the robbery morphed into a rampage.

Investigators said DNA tests linked Uribe to the crime. They said cellphone records connected both Uribe and Ramos to the scene as well.

Both suspects confessed to police. The jury was able to watch a video of statements Uribe made while in custody.

Also adding to the case against Uribe was the fact that Ramos took a plea deal in exchange for testimony against her former boyfriend.

Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Risa Lanier said the girlfriend’s testimony was crucial.

“To give the jury context for why these murders happened, what was occurring inside that house, any possible motive behind it,” Lanier said. “It’s even hard for all of us to wrap our heads around how someone could’ve done this to six members of this family.”

DNA found under a victim’s fingernails also tied Uribe to the crime scene, as well as cellphone records.

Armando Cruz, the father of the two youngest victims, spoke to reporters after the verdict. He said justice took six years, but he knew it would come.

Cruz called the defendant a “monster.” He got emotional as he poured his heart out in Spanish.

Cruz told reporters he wants to remember his family with love, not pain.

Defense attorneys told us they plan to request a new trial.

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