Diego Uribe sentenced to life in prison for the murders of six family members in Gage Park
Diego Uribe shot, bludgeoned and stabbed the family to death during a robbery in 2016.
Diego Uribe was sentenced to life in prison Monday for the murders of six members of his extended family at their Gage Park home nearly seven years ago.
The brutality of the killings shocked the city in February 2016 when the bodies of the victims — including two children — were found throughout the small brick bungalow where the family lived in the 5700 block of South California Avenue.
Uribe was convicted last month of shooting his aunt, Maria Martinez, 32, in an attic apartment at the home after demanding money from her. Uribe then bludgeoned her bother, Noe Martinez, 38, to death when he came to investigate the gunshot.
When the siblings’ mother said she would call police, Uribe pushed 58-year-old Rosaura Martinez down a flight of stairs and repeatedly stabbed her. Then, with the help of his girlfriend, Jafeth Ramos, they went through the home stealing various items, including an Xbox and the contents of a piggy bank.
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After forcing Maria Martinez’s children — Leonardo Cruz, 13, and his brother, Alexis Cruz, 10, — to help collect the items, Uribe stabbed both repeatedly. Uribe waited for their grandfather, Noe Martinez Sr., 62, to come home with food for the family and killed him as well.
A jury found Uribe guilty of six counts of murder on Oct. 5 after more than 10 hours of deliberation.
Uribe declined to give a statement Monday before he was sentenced, providing no further explanation for why he targeted members of his own family for robbery and then decided to kill everyone living in the home.
His attorneys said in court that they intended to file an appeal.
Surviving members of the family who testified against Uribe, including Armando Cruz, whose wife and two children were murdered, did not attend the hearing Monday.
Prosecutors noted both lived in Mexico and said they did not send written statements to be read at the hearing.
Ramos, who testified against Uribe extensively during his trial, is expected to be sentenced next month. The 25-year-old pleaded guilty last year to a reduced charge of armed robbery in a deal with prosecutors that will include a recommended sentence of 25 years in prison.
Uribe and Ramos have been locked up in Cook County Jail since they were arrested several months after the murder when detectives connected Uribe to the massacre through DNA evidence and cell phone records.
Both gave confessions while in custody. Prosecutors played portions of them during the trial.
Howard agreed to delay Uribe’s transfer to the prison for a week so Uribe could have a last visit with his and Ramos’ young son.