12.12.19

Chicago restaurant owners ‘devastated’ after chef is fatally stabbed in kitchen

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An Elmwood Park man ambushed a fellow chef in the kitchen of a Portage Park restaurant during the dinner rush Sunday, fatally stabbing him with a 9-inch fillet knife for several minutes as he fended off coworkers trying to stop him with cutting boards and a chair, prosecutors say.



Martinez was denied bail Wednesday during a court hearing in which Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said there is “crystal clear” video surveillance in the kitchen showing the encounter, according to a proffer outlining the case.

The video first shows Neill and Martinez working side-by-side at the grill and oven area over a period of time, with no unusual behavior or arguments between the two, he said.

When other employees walked out of the room, leaving the pair alone in the kitchen at 6:53 p.m., Martinez left for the basement after appearing to tell Neill to watch what he was cooking on the stove, Murphy said.

Martinez walks off camera and returns 20 seconds later holding the knife, and walks briskly toward Neill, grabbing him from behind and stabbing him repeatedly, Murphy said.

The video shows Neill fall to the floor as Martinez stood over him while continuing to stab him, Murphy said.

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