Jonathan Celis Found Guilty of Murder of Oscar R. Castaneda, Stabbed in Parking Lot in February 2018

Lake County State’s Attorney Michael G. Nerheim announced a Waukegan man was found guilty of first-degree murder in Lake County court late Thursday night, March 12, 2020.

Jonathan Celis, 25, is now facing up to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after the Lake County jury found him guilty on a single count of first-degree murder in front of 19th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Patricia Fix at about 10 p.m. Thursday night.

Celis is due back in court on April 8, 2020 for a status hearing.

“I am extremely proud of the hard work and excellent investigative skills performed by members of the Waukegan Police Department and employees at the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office in proving this case.”

— State’s Attorney Nerheim

Celis was found guilty of stabbing 28-year-old Oscar R. Castaneda of Waukegan during a large fight in the parking lot of the La Canoa Restaurant at 2 a.m. on Feb. 24, 2018.

Castaneda was one of four victims stabbed during the fight, authorities said. He died during emergency surgery due to extensive blood loss from the wounds he suffered.

Celis was taken into custody by Waukegan police after they responded to the scene at 50 S. Green Bay Road. Security personnel from La Canoa Restaurant stopped Celis from leaving and pointed him out to police.

State’s Attorney Nerheim added, “I hope this verdict helps bring some comfort to Mr. Casteneda’s family, and brings them a step closer to some closure.”

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