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Juvenile to be tried as an adult on murder charges in Bloomington killing

A gavel sits on a judge's bench. On top of that photo, the words "WGLT Courts" appears.
WGLT file photo

McLean County prosecutors plan to try a 16-year-old boy as an adult in connection with a stabbing death last week.

The Bloomington teen faces four counts of first-degree murder in the killing of 19-year-old Nicholas Zapata of Normal.

Prosecutors says the two got into an argument at a birthday party in Bloomington last Saturday. The 16-year-old suspect was arrested later that night in Heyworth, about 10 miles south of Bloomington.

Zapata was pronounced dead at Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday. Preliminary autopsy fundings show Zapata died of multiple stab wounds to the chest.

According to a probable cause statement presented in court, one witness said they saw the 16-year-old chase and tackle Zapata after he tried to run from him. Another witness said they saw the suspect pull out a knife and stab the victim. He reportedly told a witness not to call the authorities and then ran from the scene and went to his father’s house. His father reportedly drove him to a location in Heyworth, where he was arrested.

Police said the juvenile suspect was covered in blood when he arrived at his father’s home and tried to burn his clothes.

Police said they also recovered a pocketknife near the scene of the stabbing that appeared to have blood and mud on it.

The teen is being held in juvenile custody.

He is due back in court on Oct. 13 for an arraignment.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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