The killer of a Rockford ice cream vendor gets 70 years in jail. The victims' friends hopes it sends a message. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) says violence against Hispanic street vendors is pretty common.
"I have no words," says Maria Busio breaking off crying
Busio spoke to 13News through a translator. She says she still cannot understand why someone would attack and kill her husband Isidro Duran while he was running away from a robbery.
"He was a very good man. He never got involved with anybody, I don't know why this happened," says Busio.
Rafael Santos shot and killed Isidro Duran in July 2007. He and two other teen were robbing him when Duran took off. Santos shot him several times in the back. The two other men, Justin Dismuke and Michael Jennings, were already found guilty of Duran's death and are already in prison.
Duran's friend, a fellow ice cream vendor, says he has had his own experience with beatings and robberies.
"I have suffered three times already with guns," says Jesus Aguilar.
Aguilar says besides being robbed he's also been pistol whipped and attacked with a knife.
"They go to the easy target because they know we don't have any defense," says Aguilar.
Rockford's LULAC says Aguilar isn't alone. LULAC president says some are undocumented workers or people believe they are undocumented, so they think if they attack the vendors they won't tell police. She hopes this prison sentence changes that.
"Please leave the ice cream vendors alone. Let this be a lesson to others," says Mary Lou Castro, LULAC president.
The family plans to hold a memorial service Sunday at noon at St. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church on West and Lincoln in Rockford. They invite the public to come out and mark the five year anniversary of Duran's death.
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