Northern Illinois

Second Man Charged in Deaths of Northern Illinois Couple

FILE of sirens on a San Diego County Sheriff's Department vehicle.

A northern Illinois man arrested Wednesday in connection with an armed robbery in Gurnee has been charged with first-degree murder in the December deaths of a Beach Park couple, authorities announced Thursday.

Derenell Hill, 35, of Waukegan is the second man charged in the deaths of Carlos Rodas Perez, 52, and Mercedes Rodas, 49. Timothy D. Triplett Jr., 34, of Waukegan was indicted last month on first-degree murder charges. Lake County Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Covelli said the charges against Hill arose after officers searching the apartment he’d been staying in found a firearm that belonged to Perez.

Gurnee police said Hill was apprehended after officers called to a store were told a man entered the business, pointed a handgun at a cashier and customer, and demanded money from the cash drawer and safe. After ordering the cashier and customer to lie on the ground, the robber drove away in a SUV.

Witness descriptions of the man, along with the demands made during the robbery, matched those in similar armed robberies in recent months, Officer Shawn Gaylor said. Based on that, investigators identified Hill as a suspect.

A Lake County judge set Hill’s bail at $5 million. It wasn’t immediately known if Hill has legal representation to speak on his behalf.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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