Alleged New Lenox Murderer Agrees to Leave Jail Cell For Court Date

Jason Gonzalez was supposed to go to court Wednesday but refused to leave the county jail. He went on Thursday instead.

Jason Gonzalez. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
Jason Gonzalez. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
He was a day later for his court hearing, but a former soldier charged with a New Lenox Township murder wanted the judge to know it wasn't because of anything he had done.

The alleged killer, 27-year-old Jason Gonzalez, elected to skip court because he was having some trouble at the county jail, said his attorney, Alexander Beck.

"Mr. Gonzalez wanted me to apologize to you for yesterday," Beck told Will County Judge Edward Burmila.

He's having some difficulty across the street at the detention center," Beck said.

Burmila said he had not thought he was the problem and that it wouldn't matter to him anyway.

"I didn't think that and I don't hold that against Mr. Gonzalez," the judge said. "And even if he was mad at me I wouldn't hold it against him."

Gonzalez had refused to leave the county jail for a Wednesday morning court hearing. Judge Burmila rescheduled it for Thursday.

After the hearing, Beck declined to elaborate on the difficulties Gonzalez has been experiencing at the county jail.

Gonzalez has been locked up in the jail more than four years on charges he murdered his uncle Lance Goebel in September 2009. Gonzalez allegedly shot Goebel numerous times with a 9-mm handgun, then stole $1,000 and his uncle's Chevy HHR. The vehicle was later located about a mile from Goebel's residence in New Lenox Township.

Goebel's wife found her husband dead in the home. Several days later, the police caught Gonzalez sleeping in his mother's 1997 Saturn, which he reportedly borrowed from her shortly before the killing. Gonzalez was parked behind a bush on Larkin Avenue in Joliet, police said.

Gonzalez had lived with Goebel but his uncle kicked him out not long before the murder, police said. In between his departure from his uncle's home and the killing, Gonzalez sent an email to an aunt living in Seattle and told her he was going to "get even" with Goebel, according to court papers.

Gonzalez was stationed in Guantanamo Bay during his eight months in the Army in 2005 and 2006. His time in the military was cut short when he was discharged for medical reasons, according to a filing which claimed Gonzalez was "given a diagnosis of personality disorder with passive aggressive and borderline features."

Beck told Judge Burmila he plans to procure an expert witness but must wait for the public defender's new budget to be approved.

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