Photo: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the MS-13 gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, pleaded guilty in New York to the machete murder of Guatemalan Julio César Espantzay Gonzales, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office reported today.
It was on Long Island where Espantzay died in January 2017, and in that same place there were other murders of young people at the hands of that same group, which in 2012 the United States Government included in the list of international criminal organizations.
According to a statement from the prosecution, Kevin Granados Coreas, 23, and known as “Lonely” pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder and conspiracy and faces a minimum of 23 years in prison to life in prison when sentenced. on May 23.
Granados Correas and the 19-year-old victim worked in a restaurant where they became friends and the night the former was murdered, he invited Espantzay to a park to smoke marijuana and hang out with some girls, the Nassau prosecutor said. Anne T. Donnelly.
“The defendant told his fellow MS-13 members that Espantzay Gonzales was his ‘enemy.’ Once inside the park, the victim was mercilessly hacked to death with machetes and her body was dragged into a nearby brush, ”the prosecutor also pointed out.
Antonio Cullal, Raúl Ponce and Gerson Stanley Juárez also participated in the murder, the prosecution also indicated.
Espantzay Gonzales, was reported missing in late January 2017 and his body was found on March 23 in a wooded area by a person walking a dog, and it was not until April 5 that he was identified. His remains were repatriated to his hometown, Chimaltenango.
Granados Coreas was arrested on August 15, 2017 and charged with the murder.
According to the indictment, Carlos Portillo and Roberto Abrego Reyes allegedly ordered the murder of Espantzay Gonzales because they considered him an enemy of the gang.
Cullal has already been sentenced to serve a minimum of 20 years in prison and life in prison, while Ponce was sentenced to between 32 and life in prison, both in 2021.
Ponce pleaded guilty to the murders of Espantzay Gonzales and 15-year-old Bryan Steven Cho Lemus, also with a machete, and of having participated in the shooting homicides of Nelson Rodríguez and Osmin Campos Sandoval, which occurred between 2016 and 2017.
The cases against Portillo and Abrego Reyes are still pending trial.
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