Juan Reyes

Juan Reyes

Jury selection will begin next week in the case of a local man charged in a 2004 shooting death on Cronkhite Avenue.

Juan Reyes, 29, of Danville faces 16 felony counts, including first-degree murder charges, in connection with the Jan. 28, 2004, shooting death of William Thomas. Thomas was shot in his home on Cronkhite Avenue.

State’s Attorney Frank Young said the trial will begin Monday. A court appearance is scheduled in the morning, and jury selection is expected to begin in the afternoon.

Prosecutors believe Reyes and Andre Smith of Danville, entered Thomas’ home as part of plan with six other men to rob Thomas of cash and marijuana.

Thomas and another man were in the home at the time of the robbery attempt and were shot while Smith and Reyes were inside. The other man recovered, but Thomas was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Police have not said who they believe is responsible for shooting which man. Smith pleaded guilty to a murder charge in January.

Young said the trial is expected to take about four days. The trial was scheduled to start Monday after the court granted three continuances in August and September.

In addition to murder charges, Reyes is accused of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, home invasion and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Under Illinois statutes, Reyes faces up to 60 years in prison on the charge of first-degree murder alone.

Three aggravating factors involving the use, possession and firing of a gun during the crime were filed in the case against Reyes. If the jury finds him guilty on these charges, as well, he could receive a sentence of natural life in prison.

Reyes, who was arrested in Detroit in late February, is being held in the Public Safety Building without bond.

Two other defendants in the case — Joseph Hernandez, 31, of Danville, and Alex Garcia, 26, of Chicago — pleaded guilty in January to a charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. As part of their plea agreements, both men agreed to testify against any co-defendants who go to trial.

Young said both men are on the witness list for the prosecution. He could not say whether they would be called to testify.