COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list for his alleged role in a grisly 2009 Gage Park murder has been extradited to Chicago.
Luis "Ye-Ye" Macedo, 29, appeared in bond court Tuesday on charges of first-degree murder — more than eight years after he and fellow gang members were accused of murdering 15-year-old Alex Arellano by beating the boy, shooting him in his head and burning his body.
A judge in 2013 called it the "most savage and most horrific" murder case she'd ever seen. Cook County Judge James Brown on Tuesday called the attack "horrific" before setting bail at $10 million.
According to prosecutors, Alex was walking home from a birthday party with two female friends on May 1, 2009, when Macedo and four cohorts approached the group near the 3000 block of West 54th Place.
Prosecutors described Macedo as a "senior member" of the Latin Kings gang. Alex had been walking in Kings "territory," Assistant State's Attorney John Maher said Tuesday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, 2650 S. California Ave.
According to authorities, Macedo asked Alex about his gang affiliation. When the boy didn't reply, Macedo hit Alex in his head with a baseball bat. The entire group of Latin Kings then pounced on Alex— alternately kicking and punching him and hitting the boy with the bat, Maher said.
Alex briefly was able to run to a nearby gangway by a foreclosed home, prosecutors said. Someone in the area called 911.
Macedo's group followed Alex, according to Maher, and continued to beat the boy in the gangway. At that point, prosecutors said, accomplice Jovanny Martinez pulled out a gun and fatally shot Alex in his head. The group scattered.
Police responding to the 911 call arrested Martinez and found his gun, prosecutors said, but didn't know about the murder.
With Martinez in custody, Macedo called an emergency Latin Kings meeting and ordered fellow members to burn Alex's body to destroy evidence, Maher said. Police later found the charred remains.
In all, four people including Martinez have been convicted for their roles in the murder, court records show. Martinez is currently imprisoned in Crest Hill, Ill., and is slated to be paroled in May 2060.
Macedo fled to Mexico when a warrant was issued for his arrest, authorities said. He was placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list in April 2016 and arrested Saturday in Guadalajara, Mexico, according to the FBI.
In court Tuesday, Assistant Public Defender Chandra Smith said Macedo has a seventh-grade education and three children, ages 8, 6 and 3. Macedo has spent the past several years working at a barber shop and teaching boxing, Smith said.
She noted that Macedo has "been trying to live his life away from gangs" and that he wanted to leave the gang life after the birth of his oldest child: "There's no way of saying, 'I want out.' That's not how you get out."
Brown called Macedo a flight risk and "great danger to the community" before setting bail at $10 million.
Prosecutors said Macedo has a prior burglary conviction and multiple arrests that never amounted to convictions.
"The atrocious violent acts committed by Luis Macedo, and his unwise decision to evade law enforcement, are the reasons why the FBI has established a ‘Ten Most Wanted’ list,” FBI Chicago Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson said in a news release. “The FBI will continue to devote all necessary resources to bringing these dangerous individuals to justice."