West Chicago man sentenced to 22 years for stabbing man multiple times in the back, killing him

Joel Munoz-Valdez

A West Chicago man has been sentenced to 22 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for fatally stabbing a man in the back and leg in 2020.

Joel Munoz-Valdez, 26, plead guilty to first-degree murder charges in the death of Luis Lopez.

The state upgraded the initial aggravated battery charges filed against Munoz-Valdez to first-degree murder charges after Lopez died as a result of his injuries.

According to prosecutors, at about 10:40 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2020, Munoz-Valdez approached Lopez outside of a home on the 800 block of Brentwood in West Chicago.

During an altercation between Munoz-Valdez and Lopez, Munoz-Valdez took a knife out of his pocket and stabbed Lopez several times in the back and leg.

Munoz-Valdez then fled the scene.

He was apprehended in Naperville on Feb. 29, 2020.


After the attack, Lopez was taken to the hospital. He died on March 6, 2020.

"Just over two years ago, Joel Munoz-Valdez decided to end a verbal argument with a knife," DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. "His actions however, not only ended the argument, but also ended Luis Lopez’s life."

Munoz-Valdez will be required to serve his full sentence before being eligible for parole.