Racine home invasion, homicide; Illinois man charged

A Gurnee, Illinois man is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in connection to a Racine home invasion in 2021.

Jonathan Martinez, 25, is also charged with attempted armed robbery.

Racine police were called to the scene of a possible home invasion near Monroe and Kinzie on Oct. 4, 2021. Inside, police found a man dead – later identifying him as 31-year-old James Hamilton.

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An autopsy found Hamilton had gunshot wounds to the abdomen, neck and back. Police found three spent bullet casings near his body at the scene, according to a criminal complaint. There were bullet holes in a closet door and dresser.

Police found a handgun in the closet. Three rounds had been fired from it and there was blood on the handle, the complaint states. Elsewhere in the home, police found an AR-15-style rifle, heroin, marijuana and other controlled substances as well as a Louis Vuitton bag with more than $107,000 cash inside. In all, officers found $125,000 cash in the home and more than 3,400 grams of marijuana.


James Hamilton

A surveillance system from a neighboring home captured a "unique" red truck arrive and surveil the home for about an hour. It then parked four houses down, and two people got out and walked to the back door of around 9:45 p.m. Minutes later, both people were seen running from the home, getting into the truck and driving off.

Investigators were able to identify the truck's co-owner, which led them to Martinez, the complaint states. A review of Illinois Tollway information and surveillance showed Martinez was the truck's primary driver. A close "associate" was also identified and arrested in Illinois with a gun after a traffic stop.

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The complaint states a review of that associate's phone records placed him "directly on top" of the victim's home minutes before the two people were seen running out and driving off. During a three-hour window leading up to the time of the homicide, it was found that Martinez's cellphone was also in the area of the scene.

Per the complaint, it was found that the truck had a Wi-FI hotspot installed. Information from that hotspot found the truck had left Martinez's home around 7 p.m. the night of the homicide. The truck stopped in Waukegan, allegedly at the home of his associate. It was placed near the homicide scene roughly an hour before the crime took place. Around 10:20 p.m., it was in Kenosha and later returned to Martinez's Illinois home. Those times and locations correlated with the location date from the associate's cellphone.


Racine Police Department

In interviews with other individuals, police learned that Martinez's associate had been at the victim's home 10 days prior to the homicide.

The complaint states Martinez was convicted of felony unlawful use of weapons in Lake County, Illinois less than five months before the shooting.

The associate in question is considered a co-defendant in the case, but court records do not show whether he has been formally charged. For that reason, FOX6 News is not naming him.