Carlos Burgos of Jersey City and Raul Torres of North Bergen, both 23, took the same route as the plan’s mastermind, Lexie Burke of Jersey City, who pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter last year in the June 2019 shooting death of David Duque-Soto.
Both men, like Burke, were originally charged with felony murder.
Like him, they opted to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for leniency at sentencing.
They didn’t have much choice, actually, given the fact that Burke or getaway driver David Martinez – or both – could have been called to testify if they’d gone to trial.
Martinez, 21, of North Bergen, took his chances with a jury and lost. He was convicted of felony murder, among other counts, last month following a trial in Hackensack.
Now he’s looking at 30 years in state prison, at the very least, when he’s sentenced on April 28.
Burgos and Torres are scheduled to be sentenced on May 23. Along with the aggravated manslaughter count, both men pleaded guilty to robbery, conspiracy and weapons offenses.
That leaves Dylan Rodriguez, of North Bergen, who authorities said supplied and then hid the murder weapon, which was recovered from his attic during what investigators told Daily Voice were no fewer than a half-dozen warranted searches.
Rodriguez is charged with felony murder and perjury, among other counts.
Burke and others had previously gone to Duque-Soto's Fourth Street duplex apartment to buy a pound of pot. He purportedly pulled a gun on them, however, and they left.
The group returned the night of June 29, 2019 bent on revenge, investigators said. They were there barely a minute when Duque-Soto was shot, he said.
A responding ALS unit pronounced Duque-Soto dead of gunshot wounds and acute blunt-force trauma a short time later.
In an odd twist, a companion who'd been in the bathroom when the killing occurred hopped a bus to West New York, where he ran into police headquarters to report what had happened, investigators told Daily Voice.
Painstaking work by several of Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella’s detectives, assisted by Fairview police, led to arrests barely 48 hours after Duque-Soto was slain.
Investigators canvassed the area and found security video that showed two distinctive vehicles, which helped them develop suspects. A series of interviews that followed in Fairview and North Bergen led to the warranted searches.
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