A teenager has been charged in the homicide earlier this month of a 36-year-old man scheduled to testify against MS-13 gang members.
Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez was allegedly attacked by nine MS-13 members in 2018 when he intervened while they were intimidating two teenagers.
Rodriguez was found dead on Sunday, Feb. 2 behind an abandoned home in New Cassel at 1113 Broadway.
Late Saturday, Feb. 15, Nassau County Police announced a 17-year-old from New Cassel has been charged with second-degree murder.
The suspect, whose name was not released, is due to be arraigned Sunday, Feb. 16 at First District Court in Hempstead.
Reportedly, gang members in jail contacted people not incarcerated to commit the crime, leading to the homicide.
"In October 2018, Wilmer Maldonado intervened when two boys were allegedly threatened by MS-13 members and he was senselessly attacked, struck with a bat in the head and suffered multiple stab wounds,” Maldonado’s attorney said in a statement. “This courageous man was prepared to testify against his alleged assailants at an upcoming trial, but he was brutally beaten to death before he could.
“The prosecution protected this victim's identity by obtaining a protective order in December of 2018, but his identity was disclosed pursuant to a judge's order in December 2019. This case underscores the importance of safeguarding the identities of witnesses and victims of crime.”
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said that “the system failed. This man is dead because we didn’t do enough, and this law is not helping us.”
"This courageous man was prepared to testify against his alleged assailants at an upcoming trial, but he was brutally beaten to death before he could," Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. "This case underscores the importance of safeguarding the identities of witnesses and victims of crime and our hearts are with Mr. Maldonado’s family and friends as we grieve his loss."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.