Man accused of fatal shooting in Chicago while on GPS monitor for an earlier arrest; bond set at $1 million for first-degree murder charge

Alice Yin, Chicago Tribune
·3 min read

A man who was on GPS monitoring last year confronted a stranger about what appeared to be gang ties before fatally shooting him in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood on the Southwest Side, prosecutors said.

Jacob Delgado, a 23-year-old from West Englewood, was charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 1 death of Juan Sierra-Cervantes in the 6100 block of South Troy Street, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said during Saturday’s bond court hearing. Delgado was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail by Judge Arthur Willis.

Just before 3 a.m. that morning, 44-year-old Sierra-Cervantes was trying to call his girlfriend while walking to his home on that block when Delgado approached him, Deboni said. The girlfriend did not pick up, sending the call to a voicemail that recorded a male voice saying, “18th and Morgan.”

Sierra-Cervantes replied, “Are you a banger?” and the male voice responded with the same streets. “Huh?” Sierra-Cervantes said. The male voice said for a third time: “18th and Morgan.”

Deboni said the two did not know each other, but the intersection of West 18th and South Morgan streets is an area frequented by a gang in Pilsen. The prosecutor added that Delgado was believed to be a member of a rival gang, and was trying to get Sierra-Cervantes’ attention to discern gang ties.

Seconds later in the voicemail, a shot rang out and what sounds like a body falling to the ground is heard, Deboni said. Then the recording indicates a second bang, followed by silence.

Sierra-Cervantes’ body was not found until about 5:20 a.m. when a neighbor spotted it and called the police. The 44-year-old died of a gunshot wound to the neck, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

ShotSpotter records found two rounds were fired around the time of the voicemail at the location where Sierra-Cervantes collapsed, Deboni said. Two .40-caliber shell casings at the scene were also recovered, although the weapon was never found.

Delgado was on GPS monitoring at the time for a case out of Will County, and the device confirmed he was at the location of the shooting at the time it occurred, Deboni said. Video surveillance also shows him with the bracelet on his ankle that morning, although it did not capture the actual shooting.

Delgado’s attorney Alana De Leon said Delgado has a pregnant girlfriend of four years, and the two share a 2-year-old son. He was employed at a warehouse in Joliet, packaging boxes, at the time of his surrender on Friday and was taking GED classes online, De Leon said.

Deboni added that a witness reported drinking with Delgado at an address on the 6000 block of South Troy before the shooting and the two left the house together. The witness said they saw Delgado allegedly walk toward where Sierra-Cervantes was killed but did not see the shooting itself. The person did report seeing Delgado run back to address on the next block after the shots while holding a gun and making “third-party admissions,” Deboni said.

“The defendant told witness No. 1 that he told the guy he was from Ambrose and shot the guy two times,” Deboni said.

De Leon argued that there was no proof Delgado was connected with the .40-caliber shell casings and that the witness testifying against him was heavily intoxicated that morning.

Delgado’s GPS monitoring stems from 2019 case out of Will County in which he ultimately pleaded guilty to possessing a stolen vehicle, court records show. He failed to appear in court for that case this month, resulting in Will County issuing a warrant for him and revoking his bail.

Delgado’s next court date for the Cook County case was set for Tuesday at Branch 66.

ayin@chicagotribune.com