The man who allegedly killed Cesar Rangel was already in jail on drug charges when he was charged with murder.
Victor Romero-Palos, Woodstock, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of Rangel, 41, also of Woodstock. Romero-Palos, 36, was a person of interest in the murder when he was taken into custody June 16 — the same day Rangel was killed — for alleged drug violations, according to Woodstock Deputy Chief Jeffrey Parsons.
Rangel was found shot in a public parking lot at the corner of East Calhoun and South Jefferson streets at around 1:15 a.m. He was later pronounced dead. Romero-Palos was arrested about eight hours later.
Parsons said police found illegal drugs in Romero-Palos’ home while they were executing a search warrant June 16 as part of the murder investigation. Romero-Palos initially was charged with four drug offenses, including a Class X felony for manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance near a park or school. Romero-Palos lives near the Park in the Square.
“The charges were enhanced [to Class X] because of the proximity to the Square park,” Parsons said.
In addition to the Class X felony, police also charged Romero-Palos with manufacturing or delivery of between 1 to 15 grams of cocaine, a Class 1 felony; possession of controlled substance, a Class 4 felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor.
Romero-Palos was being held on $2 million bond for the drug charges. His total bond increased to $7 million following the filing of murder charges.