Man sentenced to prison for brutal beating

By Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Dec. 18, 2006, 11:38 a.m.)

ELKHORN
A 23-year-old former Latin Kings gang member who took part in beating a Delavan man within inches of his life in 2003 was sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison Friday.

Charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless injury were dropped in exchange for Jose F. Gomez's guilty plea to aggravated battery.

Gomez, 116 N. Main St., Delavan, and possibly four other men took part in nearly beating a man to death on July 21, 2003, outside the man's home on South Third Street.

The man was struck with a baseball bat and metal rod, requiring brain and eye surgeries and leading to a life of persistent pain, Judge James Carlson said.

Gomez took part in the beating by kicking the man in the face.

Police arrested Gomez and two other men, Santos Moronez Jr., 27, and Jayme A. Manriquez, 30, for the beating. The case remains under investigation. At least two other men are suspected in taking part in the fight.

Moronez pleaded guilty to felony aggravated battery and spent a year in jail.

Manriquez posted a $10,000 cash bond and remains a wanted fugitive.

Gomez posted bond shortly after his arrest and fled to Mexico. He was arrested in Joliet, Ill., in mid-July.

Gomez has severed gang ties and apologized for what he did.

"I am sorry for all the pain and suffering put on the victim and his family," Gomez said.

After his release, Gomez will spend the next 5 1/2 years on probation, Carlson ordered.

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