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Man charged in gas station beating death

A Cook County judge set bail at $750,000 Wednesday for a man...

A Cook County judge set bail at $750,000 Wednesday for a man who allegedly beat another man to death in the parking lot of a West Side gas station.

Jose Jimenez, 24, of the 3700 block of South Wood Street, appeared before Criminal Court Judge John Fleming in Central Bond Court. Jimenez is charged with murder in the death of Jose Espinoza-Diaz, 20, of the 2900 block of South Poplar Avenue.

On June 30 about 1:45 a.m., Espinoza-Diaz and Jimenez got into an altercation at a Pilsen bar that spilled into the street, Assistant State's Atty. Beth Pfeiffer said.

Jimenez picked up a metal pipe, and the two continued to quarrel as they reached a gas station in the 2500 block of South Blue Island Avenue, Pfeiffer said.

A friend of Jimenez's pulled up in a car and asked if Jimenez needed help, then struck Espinoza-Diaz with an anti-auto theft device, Pfeiffer said. Espinoza-Diaz fell to the ground, and both men beat him and fled in the second man's car, she said.

Witnesses identified Jimenez in a lineup and he gave a statement to police implicating himself, Pfeiffer said.

The second man was still at large.

Jimenez was scheduled to appear Friday in Violence Court for a preliminary hearing.