Trial to begin for reputed gang member accused of shooting ATF agent in Chicago

Opening statements are set for Tuesday in the trial of a reputed gang member accused of shooting an ATF agent last year.

Prosecutors say video shows Ernesto Godinez driving in the Back of the Yards neighborhood shortly before he shot the federal agent in the face.

Godinez's attorneys say they’ve got the wrong man.

Prosecutors say that early in the morning of May 4, 2018, Godinez opened fire on an ATF agent from an alley in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Godinez, they say, thought he was shooting at a rival gang member. The agent was hit in the face, but survived. Godinez was arrested three days later.

On Monday, a 12-person jury was selected to hear his case.

“We will point out to the jurors that a lot of what the government is going to present, we would agree with,” said defense attorney Lawrence Hyman.

Hyman says Godinez will not dispute being out in the neighborhood that morning, near the scene of the shooting.  He was apparently caught on surveillance cameras. But the video, Hyman says, does not show just who did the shooting, and Godinez insists it wasn't him.

“There still is someone out there who we believe is the shooter,” Hyman said.

The defendant's attorneys also say they will not dispute the expected testimony of a government informant that Godinez was a member of a gang.

“The judge is going to allow the use of an informant who was a former gang, or a gang member, the same gang that mister Godinez was in. And that again is not a dispute,” Hyman said.

The ATF agent who was shot in the face may take the stand during the trial. Godinez faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.