Elgin murder suspect seeks speedy trial

By Dan Campana
Elgin Courier-News

Making his first formal court appearance since being accused of murder, Alberto Sepeda requested a speedy trial Wednesday on charges he shot a man to death during a Nov. 13 altercation in Elgin.

Sepeda, 28, remains in Kane County Jail on $5 million bail facing multiple counts of murder, home invasion, aggravated kidnapping and unlawful restraint. Along with his attorney, David Camic, Sepeda went before Judge John Barsanti to make the request that requires him to stand trial within an approximate timeframe of 160 days. That timing can vary based on factors such as whether Camic seeks continuances for motions or other reasons during the pre-trial portion of the case. Prosecutors have said Sepeda is eligible for extended-term sentencing of an additional 15 years in prison tacked onto minimum sentences on any charge for which he is convicted.

Prosecutors allege Sepeda shot 59-year-old Norbert Gutierrez twice in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 as part of an unspecified dispute at Gutierrez's home in the 800 block of Morgan Avenue. Elgin police responded to a disturbance call in that area and found a wounded Gutierrez, authorities have said. He later died at an Elgin hospital.

Officers who arrived at the scene also said they saw Sepeda apparently forcing a woman and small child into a car. Sepeda briefly fled, but was captured and arrested, police said.

Sepeda denounced the charges during a bond court hearing, suggesting authorities had trumped up the allegations against him. Sepeda also claimed to have acted in self-defense, something Camic noted in a recent court filing as a defense he "may rely" on at trial, documents show.

Barsanti scheduled a Jan. 13 preliminary hearing for Sepeda.

Dan Campana is a freelance reporter for the Courier-News.