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Jesus Villareal On Trial For 1981 Killing Over Middle-Finger

After 29 years, the trial of suspected murderer Jesus Villareal finally is underway, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. And according to early testimony, the shooting death of John Spoors may have been triggered by a simple middle-finger gesture; but his Chicago criminal attorney claims it was in self defense.

If convicted, Jesus Villareal faces up to 40 years in prison.  

Harry Krivoshein testified that on Aug. 26, 1981 another driver cut him off, so he pulled into a nearby parking lot and flipped him the bird. The driver then responded with the same middle-finger gesture and drove off.

But a little while later while he and John Spoors were loading carpenter's tools into his van, the driver pulled up to them and pulled a small handgun on them. Harry Krivoshein explained what he claims happened next:

"John [Spoors] said, 'What are you gonna do, shoot me?' He raised the gun and pointed it at John."

He then shot him twice and drove off. John Spoor soon died in the parking lot where he was attacked while prime suspect Jesus Villareal, identified through police photos, vanished. He remained at large until his arrest in Mexico in January 2008.

The suspect was returned to DuPage County authorities last year to face murder charges after a long extradition fight.

Perhaps flipping the middle finger can be considered an act of provocation, but Harry Krivoshein insisted that neither himself nor John Spoors threatened or attacked Jesus Villareal prior to the shooting.

But Jesus Villareal's Chicago criminal defense attorney, DuPage County assistant public defender Brian Jacobs, said the men walked toward the car carrying tools in a way that made his client fearful:

"He became in fear of his life -- and that's when this incident occurred. Jesus was defending himself that morning."

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