The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 22, 2009

Gunman admits to murder

DANVILLE — The man accused in the New Year’s shooting of a Danville man has admitted to the crime.

Joseph King, 19, stands accused of five counts of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Alberto Cardoza just minutes after midnight outside a New Year’s Eve party at 735 Bryan Ave.

Danville Police Det. Phillip Wilson took the witness stand during King’s preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon and testified in circuit court that King admitted to the shooting.

King, who was interviewed after being arrested in Kentucky, told detectives that he was involved in the shooting.

According to Wilson, King told detectives he had received threats from members of the Latin Kings street gang. When Cardoza threatened him at the party they were at, King pulled out a gun to scare him.

Cardoza grabbed the gun and it went off, firing one shot into Cardoza’s left shoulder. He was pronounced dead at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center about 30 minutes later.

Under cross examination, Wilson testified the gun used in the incident has not been recovered. He also indicated King is a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang.

Cardoza never regain consciousness following the shooting.

King entered a not guilty plea as part of Tuesday’s court proceedings. A jury trial was scheduled for April.

Each of the charges against King carries with them a potential punishment of 20-60 years or as much as a life sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

A warrant for King was issued the same day the body of Cardoza was found outside a home in the 700 block of Bryan Avenue. He is being held without bond.

King was arrested was arrested a week after the shooting by Erlanger, Ky., police officers on a warrant issued in connection with the shooting. He was returned to the Public Safety Building after waiving extradition.

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