Fourth Person Charged In Death of Man Found Along Highway

Francisco Anthony Martinez, 19, charged with obstruction of justice in homicide of Colin Nutter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Francisco Anthony Martinez

    A fourth man has been charged in the death of a Highland Park man whose body was dumped last month along the Edens Expressway.

    Bond was set at $100,000 this weekend for Francisco Anthony Martinez, 19. Martinez is charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly providing investigators with false information in the Colin Nutter murder investigation, according to court records.

    Martinez, of the 2600 block of Summit Avenue, in Highland Park, may have provided the .40 caliber gun to Benjamin Schenk, 20, Philip Vatamaniuc, 17, and Michael Coffee, 17, to kill Nutter, Assistant State’s Attorney Reginald Mathews said.

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    Prosecutors describe a shocking, cold-blooded murder by three young friends. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

    Schenk, Vatamaniuc and Coffee, all of Highland Park, were each charged with first-degree murder in the case.

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    Police roped off Colin Nutter's home on Tuesday afternoon, calling it an extension of a crime scene. Christian Farr reports.

    According to prosecutors, the trio lured Nutter to a secluded stretch of Michigan Avenue in Highwood under the pretense of a marijuana deal.

    Prosecutors allege the defendants then stuffed Nutter's body into the trunk of his car and dumped it near the Edens Expressway, where it was discovered by a teen walking her dog. The following day, they allegedly stole a vehicle belonging to one of Nutter's relatives and drove that car and Nutter's car into Chicago. A police surveillance camera recorded them dumping Nutter's car near West Madison Street and South Pulaski Road, officials said.

    At the time of the slaying, Schenk was already out of custody on a $30,000 bond from a December aggravated assault and deadly weapon charge in connection with an attempted auto theft. Coffee pleaded guilty last October to mob activity and activity battery for an incident on a bike path.