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Former Soldier Charged With Murder Gives Up DVDs, Takes Lawyer

A New Lenox Township man charged with murdering his uncle agreed to let a lawyer represent him at trial after all.

Jason Gonzalez. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
Jason Gonzalez. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
After getting four days to think about it, a former soldier charged with gunning down his uncle agreed to let a lawyer represent him at his murder trial.

Jason Gonzalez, 27, balked Monday when told he would have to surrender DVDs he has been keeping in jail if he is to have a lawyer defend him against murder charges.

"I gave you some time to mull over your decision from last time," Judge Edward Burmila told Gonzalez during a Friday morning hearing.

Gonzalez apologized to Burmila and agreed to legal representation. Attorneys Alexander Beck and Gabriel Guzman are now defending Gonzalez.

Beck told Judge Burmila that he and Guzman are still waiting to receive 15 DVDs that could be used as evidence.

"Mr. Gonzalez said they are among his personal property at the jail," Beck told Burmila.

Gonzalez has been locked up 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."

The filing also said that prior to his discharge, Gonzalez suffered from "major depressive disorder, moderate severe, single episode, though complicated by longer-standing personality traits."

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