CHICAGO (July 20) – A 24-year-old African American has been arrested for the brutal murder of an elderly Filipino couple last July 8 in their home in Chicago’s suburban Rockford, Illinois.
Omarrian T. Jones, of Rockford, was arrested on July 16 after a chase by the Rockford police.
Jones is accused of the killing of Reynato “Ray” Cardino, 77, a retired mechanic who worked part-time assembling bikes at Wal-Mart, and Leticia “Letty” Cardino, 75, a retired building inspector for the city of Rockford, both of 2623 Pleasant View Avenue, Rockford.
The couple was found after their son Reyle Cardino, 51, showed up at their home to visit them and encountered an intruder. He got into a fight with the man, who turned out to be Jones, and had to be treated at a local hospital for injuries.
Jones has been charged with two counts of First Degree murder that could make him eligible to be sentenced to death penalty. He is being held without bond.
Deputy State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite-Ross of the Winnebago County said the standard sentencing for murder is 20 to 60 years in prison but defendants found guilty of murders involving an aggravating factor — such as the victims being over the age of 60 or two or more people being killed — can face harsher punishments, including natural life in prison or capital punishment.
Jones’ mother, Helen F. Jones, 44, also of Rockford, was also arrested on a charge of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence in the case. A judge set bond at $10,000.
Her arrest came hours after her son was taken into police custody. Officers on the ground and the LEAC helicopter helped track him down on 23rd Avenue.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Winnebago County Court Tuesday, Omarrian Jones struck Reynato and Leticia Cardino “about the head and body with a blunt object, knowing such act created a strong probability of death.”
Past charges against the Joneses,according to Winnebago County Courthouse records, include Omarrian pleading guilty to felony drug charges in December 2007.He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and received 347 days’ credit for time served. He was also sentenced to 48 months of probation. He was ordered to pay fines and fees in the amount of $598, of which $556 is unpaid. The charges stem from a 2004 arrest.
In October 2006, he was found guilty of theft, trespassing involving an automobile and resisting arrest in Colorado. He was sentenced to 106 days in jail, with credit for time served, and was placed on a two and a half years probation and was fined $4,000, which has yet to be paid.
The charges of assault on a police officer, false reporting and speeding were dismissed.
Omarrian Jones’ mother, Helen Jones, has been charged with resisting a peace officer in 2007. She pulled away from and struggled with a Rockford Police Officer who went to her home on Feb. 22, 2007, with a warrant for her arrest, court records state. She pleaded guilty to the charge on April 7, 2008 and was sentenced to 12 months of court supervision.
The murders of the Cardinos are painful to Yvonne Pacula and her family, according to WXER Rockford TV. The Paculas consider them not just “neighbors, but close friends they called Grandma and Grandpa.
“They had open arms, they would welcome anybody over,” says Christine Pacula.
“They’d help the neighborhood out, whatever you wanted, they’d help you out,” says Walter Pacula.
The elderly couple’s son, Reyle Cardino, discovered their bodies at around 7 p.m. Wednesday. He told police he caught Jones inside his parents’ home. There, Jones assaulted him to the point of hospitalization and then ran away.
“His face was all bloody, all he did was call out my name and say call 911 we just got robbed,” says Walter Pacula.
In a media interview, Omarrian’s mother, Helen, pronounced her son innocent, saying, “My son walked through the door there was no blood, no injuries.”
She admitted he was at the murder scene that night but added, “I believe my son I believe there was someone else in the home.” She said Ommarian was the one attacked when he tried to help the couple.
When pressed why Ommarian had no blood if he was attacked, Helen answered, “because he said I don’t know that’s a good question. That’s one of the inconsistencies.”