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NW Indiana man found not guilty of 2013 Gage Park murder

Wenceslao Arriaga

A northwest Indiana man was found not guilty Wednesday of a 2013 murder that happened during a gang fight in the Southwest Side Gage Park neighborhood, though he still remains in custody at the Cook County Jail.

Judge Vincent Gaughan found 27-year-old Wenceslao Arriaga not guilty of murder Wednesday, according to Cook County court records.

Arriaga was accused of the July 21, 2013, murder of 20-year-old Jose Ibarra, who was killed in a back-alley fight as he came to the aid of his younger brother, whom prosecutors said was fighting with members of the Latin Kings.

Arriaga was driving a GMC Envoy and attempting to flee from the fight when the SUV struck two men at 3:20 a.m. in the 5700 block of South Central Park Avenue, authorities said.

Ibarra, of the 3500 block of West 58th Street, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy found he died of multiple injuries and compressional asphyxiation from being struck and rolled over by an SUV, and his death was ruled a homicide.

A police spokesman said at the time Ibarra had no gang ties, which family members confirmed.

An assistant public defender said in 2013 that Arriaga was defending himself and that he suffered stab wounds during the gang fight.

He has a 2011 federal convicted for cocaine distribution.

Arriaga, of Hobart, remains at Cook County Jail on two active, no-bond warrants out of Indiana, according to a spokeswoman for the Cook County sheriff’s office. Additional details about the warrants were not immediately available.