Guilty verdict in torture-slaying of Waukegan man

WAUKEGAN – A northeastern Illinois man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 torture-killing of a Waukegan man who was beaten with a hammer, burned with a blow torch and suffocated with plastic bags.

The News-Sun reported that Lake County jurors found 21-year-old Jose Horta of Waukegan guilty after two hours of deliberations Friday.

Prosecutors say Horta held the victim at gunpoint while other defendants tortured and killed him.

Authorities say 27-year-old David Campbell was targeted because the suspects believed he was responsible for a sexual assault that police ultimately concluded he did not commit.

Prosecutors say Horta helped dump the body in a forest preserve.

Defense attorney Robert Ritacca argued that Horta was a witness to the crime who cooperated with police and was not a killer.