Closing arguments under way in cop-killing trial

September 28, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Prosecutors say 22-year-old Shawn Gaston fired at two people on a South Side sidewalk two years ago, killing the officer.

The closing arguments got under way before a packed courtroom. Sitting in the front row was Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and his first deputy.

Valadez was known as "Alex" to his friends and family. They are hoping the jury will give them justice that they have been awaiting for over two years.

Valadez's parents, three siblings, fiancee and the 27-year-old's family of police officers have not missed a day of the eight-day trial. As hard as it has been, they have listened to the details of how Valadez was shot to death while investigating a call of shots fired in the Englewood neighborhood in the early morning hours of June 1, 2009.

Prosecutors say Gaston and his two friends were out for revenge against rival gang members when they opened fire while driving down the 6000-block of South Hermitage.

In his closing argument, prosecutor Frank Merrick said Valadez "never had a chance. He never saw it coming. And that is first degree murder."

While three guns, including the murder weapon were found in Gaston's car, the defense claims those guns were planted by Chicago Police officers.

The lead prosecutor in the case is Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. This is the first case Alvarez has tried since becoming state's attorney. The last she was a prosecutor before a jury trial was in 2005.

The defense was wrapping its closing argument late Wednesday afternoon. Then comes rebuttal. After that, jury instructions and then they will get the case.

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