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An 18-year-old man who was asked to move out of the Northwest Side apartment he shared with his aunt and her boyfriend killed the older man with a hammer, then cut off the man's head, ears and nose and left them on his aunt's bed "as a present," prosecutors said Friday.
Police arrested a blood-covered Alexis Valdez after he dismembered Silvestre Diaz-Hernandez, 41, became exhausted and called 911 to report there was a dead body in their Belmont Gardens basement apartment, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Kingsley Sawyers said during a bond hearing.
When the 911 dispatcher asked Valdez if he had performed CPR, the young man laughed and said Diaz-Hernandez had been decapitated, Sawyers said.
Valdez had moved into the basement apartment in the 2500 block of North Kildare Avenue about six months ago with the understanding that he would go to school, work and help pay bills, Sawyers said. But Valdez did not help with expenses, even when he was working, which led to ongoing tension, he said.
Eventually, Valdez was told he had to move out.
On Christmas Eve, Valdez was home drinking while his aunt was at a party and Diaz-Hernandez was visiting family members. Diaz-Hernandez came home to find there was no beer left in the house and headed out with Valdez to a nearby drugstore to pick some up, Sawyers said.
Valdez hid a hammer by the apartment's door before leaving, Sawyers said. The store turned out to be closed. When the two men returned home, Valdez let Diaz-Hernandez enter first, then picked up the hammer and struck him in the back of the head, Sawyers said.
Diaz-Hernandez fell to the floor, and Valdez struck him up to 10 more times, Sawyers said. Valdez then covered the windows, played loud music and began cutting apart the man's body, the prosecutor said.
He used a butcher knife to cut off Diaz-Hernandez's ears, nose and mouth, and also cut off the man's head and his left arm, Sawyers said.
Valdez then put the head, ears and nose on his aunt's bed "as he, quote, 'Wanted to leave his aunt a present,'" Sawyers said.
According to an arrest report, police who responded to the home after Valdez called 911 on Christmas Day found him sitting in the front yard with an iPad in his hands.
When one officer asked, "What's going on?" Valdez replied, "Shouldn't you arrest me before you ask me questions?"
The officer then asked why he should arrest Valdez. "Because I just killed a man, and he's in the basement," Valdez said, before slamming the iPad to the ground, cracking its screen.
Valdez allegedly told police he would have killed his aunt, too, if she had come home and seen the body.
In court Friday, the thin young man said nothing beyond a soft "yes" when asked by his attorney if it was true that he did not wish to speak to investigators about the case.
Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered Valdez held without bail.