Third suspect found guilty in 2018 execution-style murder of Naperville man

News & Politics

A Chicago woman has recently been found guilty for taking part in a gruesome, execution-style murder of a man in 2018. The jury came to their decision in less than two hours.

Candice Jones, 43, is just one of three suspects who were arrested and charged in the murder. Ernest Collins, 27, from Rockford, was convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery with a firearm in late September. And the third suspect, Cassandra Green, 26, from Rockford, reportedly entered a plea deal to a single count of armed robbery with a firearm on August 19, 2022.

In exchange, Green cooperated with the authorities and provided testimony in the case, according to the Daily Herald.

The incident in question took place on January 18, 2018, when Naperville police responded to a call about a missing man. The man was soon identified as Michael Armendariz, 20, who had last been seen on January 14, around 9:30 p.m.

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WFLD reported that prosecutors in the case said Armendariz received a Snapchat from Green at around 9:11 p.m. on January 14. Upon receiving the message, it was claimed that the victim departed his apartment and got into a vehicle driven by Green. Shortly after, prosecutors said that Collins came out of hiding from the back of the vehicle and shot Armendariz twice in the back of the head.

Afterwards, Green and Collins reportedly drove to Jones’ home in Chicago, where they placed the victim’s body in a garbage can in Jones’ garage. The two then took the victim’s keys and burglarized his apartment the next day. The garbage containing Armendariz’s body was later moved to a vacant house nearby.

One month after the murder, the three suspects were taken into custody as possible suspects in the case.

“This evening, a jury found Candice Jones, the last of three defendants charged in the murder of Michael Armendariz, guilty of first-degree murder,” Attorney Robert Berlin said.

“Guilty verdicts, however, cannot bring Michael back to those who loved him. The diabolical plot devised by Candice Jones, Ernest Collins and Cassandra Green, and the execution of that plot, left a void in the lives of Michael’s surviving family and friends that will never be filled. I wish them strength as they continue their lives, having replaced Michael’s presence with just his memory.”

Jones is apparently due back in court on December 18. She could face up to 75 years in prison. Collins, however, could face life in prison. He is due back in court on November 29. And Green is set to appear in court on November 13.

3 charged with murdering Naperville man found in trash

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