Man In Jail For Teen’s Murder Allegedly Attempted To Hire Hitman To Kill Witness

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A Chicago man and his fiancée have been charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill a witness in his ongoing murder case.

Michael Aguirre, 27, was arrested in October after authorities say he passed a gun to a co-defendant who then shot and killed a 14-year-girl in June 2021, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Officials say that, with the help of his fiancée, he recently tried enlisting a hitman to kill a witness in the case. The fiancée, Julissa Ochoa, 23, is now also in custody.

It’s not the first time Aguirre tried to have a witness in the murder case killed, authorities say. He is already facing attempted murder charges after he allegedly shot a witness connected to the murder in August, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. That witness survived.

It was unclear whether the intended victim in the most recent case is the same witness Aguirre allegedly shot back in August.

Oxygen.com contacted the Cook County Sheriff's Office, who said they could not comment beyond what was stated in their press release.

Investigators with the Sheriff's Office said in their statement that, last month, they “developed information that Michael Aguirre was trying to find a hitman,” according to Monday’s release. They say Aguirre, who is in jail awaiting trial, then allegedly met with an undercover sheriff’s officer who he believed was a contract killer.

“Aguirre offered to pay the individual $2,500 to have the witness killed,” said authorities. “He also told the hitman that his fiancé [sic]… would provide the down payment of $1,000 and a picture of the witness.”

Authorities met Aguirre’s fiancée, Ochoa, on Thursday and subsequently placed her under arrest. She was charged with solicitation of murder for hire and is currently housed at the Cook County Jail on $500,000 cash bond.

Aguirre was charged on Friday with solicitation of murder and solicitation of murder for hire.

A police handout of Julissa Ochoa
A police handout of Julissa Ochoa

Julissa Ochoa Photo: Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Although officials did not name the teenage victim who Aguirre is accused of murdering in June, the Sun-Times identified her as Savannah Quintero.

Quintero and her boyfriend were walking their dog near a city convenience store on June 2, 2021 when Aguirre and two others allegedly began harassing the couple while shouting out gang slogans, prosecutors say. When Quintero mentioned that her mother was part of a rival gang, Aguirre allegedly took a firearm from his belt bag and passed it to 17-year-old Edgar Martinez, who then allegedly shot the girl in the head. The shooting was captured on surveillance video, according to the Sun-Times.

Quintero died three days later.

Martinez was charged with first-degree murder, per the Chicago Tribune, and is expected to be tried as an adult.

On Aug. 29, Aguirre confronted a witness — an alleged fellow gang member — who was present for the shooting and accused him of being a snitch. Prosecutors say Aguirre followed the witness back to his neighborhood and opened fire, shooting him nine times, including three times in the back. The witness spent a month in the hospital but survived the shooting.

Although the witness hasn't been named in the press, the Chicago Police police say that he is a 21-year-old man.

Aguirre was scheduled to appear for a bond hearing on Tuesday on the latest charges.