A Forest Park man is out on bond after being accused of murdering his younger brother.
Nestor Soto, 38, was arrested on Sept. 22 for the alleged murder of 25-year-old Ivens Soto on Sept. 20. The younger Soto was found in the kitchen of Nestor Soto’s Forest Park home on the 7700 block of Adams Street in a pool of blood. There were multiple stab wounds, and a butcher knife was found underneath the body.
During Nestor Soto’s bond hearing on Sept. 23, Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Fisher asked that Soto be held without bail. He said firefighters arrived first on the scene to find Soto standing on the front porch, covered in blood and “hysterical” but not crying. Soto and the victim were the only people in the house, Fisher said. He also noted that when a search warrant was later executed on the home, Soto’s cellphone had been reset to its factory defaults.
Fisher said there were also signs of a struggle, but Nestor Soto had no physical injuries.
Todd Pugh, Soto’s defense attorney argued that no one had found any motive for Soto to kill his brother. His client, he said, was traumatized by finding his brother’s body, and that blood found on him was consistent with the type found on someone checking an injured person. Soto, Pugh pointed out, did not change his story at all during the 48 hours in which he was interrogated.
Surveillance cameras discovered by police show the two brothers drinking at a local tavern the night before. The two left together and went to bed in separate rooms at Nestor Soto’s home, Pugh said.
Soto and his wife had bought the Adams Street house in 2015 but had listed the four-bedroom, four-bathroom home for $471,000 about three weeks prior to the murder. Both Pugh and Fisher mentioned a realty lockbox that held keys for use by real estate agents. This box, Fisher said, showed no signs of tampering.
Judge John F. Lyke Jr. said the lockbox would likely be a lynchpin in the case for both sides before rejecting the prosecution’s no-bail petition.
Soto has since paid the $25,000 cash-only bond and is now on electronic monitoring, said Forest Park Deputy Police Chief Mike Keating. He is allowed only to be inside his home or at his recently opened restaurant, Whistle Pig Barbecue in Chicago.
Soto’s wife and mother, along with about 30 other supporters were at the courthouse on Saturday, said Pugh. He has two small children and is a veteran chef with more than 20 years’ experience.
According to Ivens Soto’s Facebook page, he had attended Lewis University, was living Chicago and working for American Airlines as a flight attendant.
The last homicide in Forest Park occurred eight years ago, when 18-year-old Kenyana Bates was shot and killed while sitting in a parked car outside an apartment complex. Bellwood resident Darrell Topps pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years. He was released on parole in November 2016.