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CHICAGO — Two men have been charged with the murder of a father of three who was beaten to death while hanging Christmas lights in Gage Park. In addition to the alleged murder, the pair are accused of conducting a violent crime spree before and after the beating.

Pedro Mendiola, 20 at the time, of Chicago, and Moises Barrios, 23, of Chicago were charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing Jose Tellez in the 3500 block of West 58th Street on Dec. 11.

Tellez was hanging up Christmas lights outside when Mendiola and Barrios allegedly approached with a baseball bat and a crow bar. The men then began bludgeoning him before leaving the scene with his cell phone, prosecutors said.

Tellez died as a result of his injuries.

Jose Tellez

Authorities believe the pair is also responsible for a massive violent crime spree during the time of the murder.

In bond court Friday, prosecutors laid out a timeline with 12 additional alleged crimes in just a four-hour period.

  • 3:52 p.m. in the 3500 block of North Laramie — Robbed a victim by intimation with a baseball bat.
  • 3:57 p.m. near Eddy and Lockwood — Hit a man in head with a baseball bat and stole the victim’s money and credit cards.
  • 4:03 p.m., no address given — USPS worker robbed of phone, mail and sweater.
  • 4:15 p.m., Lockwood and Berenice — Hit man in head with bat and stole cell phone and money.
  • 4:19 p.m., 5300 block of West Warwick — Man punched, kicked and hit in head with baseball bat. Wallet stolen as well.
  • 5:23 p.m., parking lot in the 3800 block of West 26th — Hit a man with bat and another was punched over money.
  • 6:25 p.m.. 3500 block of West 58th Street  — The murder of Jose Tellez. 
  • 6:30 p.m. — A car was found nearby with all four windows broken.
  • 6:49 p.m., 3800 block of West 56th Street — Punched a man, took a tool and a wallet from him.
  • 7:08 p.m., 5800 South Kolmar — Man hit by bat and crowbar after giving over his book bag and wallet.
  • 7:29 p.m. on South Albany — Asked a victim “Do you want to die?” before beating him with a bat. 
  • 7:45 p.m., South Albany just south of 57th Street — Robbed of paycheck and money with his wife and 4-year-old in car. Car was struck with a crowbar.
  • 7:50 p.m., 3400 block of West 54th Street — Broke out a victim’s car windows and robbed of cash and cell phone.

A vigil was held for Tellez after his murder where family described him as a hard worker who would have done anything for anybody.

“It’s a senseless act,” said Daisy Castro. “It could have been anybody. It really could have been anybody. It’s just I try to find the answers in my head why, and I’m just running in circles.”

As 911 calls piled up, it took police awhile to figure out that all of the incidents were related. Both were taken into custody following the last alleged incident.

“I really want to thank the officers who did a remarkable job getting these guys before they could get away or destroy evidence,” CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said.

In addition to being charged with first-degree murder, Mendiola was charged with 12 counts of armed robbery, nine counts of aggravated battery, four counts of criminal damage to property, attempted robbery, burglary and aggravated unlawful restraint.

Barrios was charged with 10 counts of armed robbery, nine counts of aggravated battery, four counts of criminal damage to property and burglary.

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Bail was denied Friday and both were on bond for other offenses.