JOLIET, Ill. — A Joliet man was found guilty of stabbing a Wisconsin man 26 times in the Harrah’s Casino Hotel in 2019.
Robert Watson, 29, was found guilty in the 2019 death of Emanual Burgarino, 76, of Wisconsin, in the hotel of the Harrah’s Casino in Joliet, according to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.
On March 24, 2019, Watson fatally stabbed Burgarino in the fifth-floor hallway of the Harrah’s Casino hotel. A witness testified that Watson had followed Burgarino into the elevator and exited with him on the fifth-floor.
The witness told the court that he had an uncomfortable feeling about Watson, he rode back down when Watson departed the elevator on the fifth floor. He then rode back up and, not seeing Watson, went to his room.
A few minutes later, he heard a commotion in the hallway. When he opened his door, Hill saw Watson attacking Burgarino. After seeing Hill, Watson ran down the hallway and into the stairwell, exiting through a secure door on the first floor that tripped a casino alarm.
Burgarino had been stabbed 26 times and died from injuries sustained as a result of the multiple stab wounds. He had been carrying a large amount of cash, and evidence showed that he had been pepper sprayed before the violent attack.
Police officers found a trail of blood in the stairwell. The following day, police located a bloody knife, articles of Watson’s clothing including striped pajama pants, and bloody latex gloves in a bush on the 300 block of North Ottawa Street near the Joliet Housing Authority in downtown Joliet.
They also found Watson’s backpack at a condemned house at on Ottawa Street in which Watson had been staying. Watson was arrested later that day at the Joliet Public Library’s Ottawa Street Branch.
The victim’s blood was found on the gym shoes Watson was wearing at the time of the arrest, as well as on the knife, the striped pants and a sweatshirt he had been wearing, and a pair of latex gloves that video surveillance had captured him taking before the murder from a cart located inside a Harrah’s Casino stairwell. Watson also had pepper spray in his possession at the time he was arrested.
Watson was found guilty on all counts of first degree murder. His sentencing is scheduled for Monday, July 31.
Watson could face between 20 to 100 years in prison, according to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.