Instead of life sentence, man gets 109 years in prison for two 2002 murders

SHARE Instead of life sentence, man gets 109 years in prison for two 2002 murders

A man who was 17 years old when he fatally shot two people in separate 2002 incidents in west suburban Aurora was sentenced Friday to 109 years in prison after a life sentence was overturned.

Circuit Judge James C. Hallock sentenced 30-year-old Matthew Quigley of Aurora to 45 years in prison for the October 2002 murder of David Morales of Aurora, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

Quigleyhad previously been sentenced to 64 years in prison for the November 2002 shooting death of 15-year-old Erbel Valdez of Aurora, a statement from prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Quigley gunned down 23-year-old Morales in an attempt to get higher status in his street gang.

Quigley, whowas 17 at the time of both murders, but considered an adult under Illinois law at the time, was originally sentenced to life in prison in September 2007 in connection with theMorales case, prosecutors said.

The life sentence was mandatory at the time because Quigley had already been convicted of Valdez’s murder, but in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional.

In 2014, an Illinois law redefined juveniles as anyone younger than 18. It was applied retroactively, so Quigley was considered a juvenile at the time he killed Morales and Valdez, prosecutors said.

Quigley’s cases were then returned to the trial court for resentencing, prosecutors said.

Because the 64-year sentence stands, and the sentences will be serve consecutively, Quigley’s total prison sentence now totals 109 years.

By law, he must serve 100 percent of the sentences. He receives credit for time already served in prison at the Kane County Jail.

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