Joliet killer gets 61 years
By Jon Seidel email@example.com January 6, 2012 8:06PM
Pedro Sanchez / photo from Will County State's Attorney's office
Updated: February 10, 2012 8:41AM
JOLIET — A man will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars for shooting a Joliet man to death.
Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak on Friday sentenced 33-year-old Pedro Sanchez, of Joliet, to 61 years in prison. She did so after his victim’s mother struggled to describe the pain she felt after the murder of her first-born son.
“I pray to God for strength,” said Betty Gooch, mother of Robert Gooch.
A jury convicted Sanchez of first-degree murder in March for Robert Gooch’s May 2009 death. The two men had been tangled up in a love triangle with Ellissa Hinton, according to trial testimony, and she chose Gooch.
Gooch answered the door of Hinton’s Lois Place apartment the night he was killed, prosecutors said. Hinton said she heard Sanchez’s voice, followed by a gunshot. She found Gooch in the doorway of her living room, bleeding from his head. The couple’s two young children were in the apartment.
Gooch, who was killed in the doorway of his girlfriend’s apartment, fatally shot a 17-year-old man in the doorway of that man’s girlfriend’s apartment in 1991 in Joliet.
Prosecutors say Jesus E. Zambrano, 21, of Joliet, was with Sanchez in the hallway of the apartment complex when Gooch was killed. Jesus E. Zambrano is also charged in Gooch’s death but has yet to face trial.
Sanchez’s attorney said he had been trying to turn his life around before Gooch’s murder. Sanchez said he’d only gone to the apartment to collect some DVDs and apologized to Gooch’s family.
“This probably don’t mean nothing,” Sanchez said, “but I’m sorry for your loss.”