Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a pair of alleged MS-13 gang members who are charged with murdering two Long Island teenagers.
It is alleged that Jairo Saenz, 24, one of the leaders of MS-13's Brentwood chapter, killed Brentwood High School students Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens in 2016, as well as several others following a disagreement with the teen girls.
Over the summer, prosecutors also announced they would seek capital punishment for Saenz’s brother, 25-year-old Alexi Saenz, for his alleged role in the murders.
It is alleged that Cuevas and Mickens were murdered with baseball bats and machetes over a dispute between the alleged gang members, though the nature of the dispute was not released by federal prosecutors.
Following the murders, President Donald Trump invited their families to the 2018 State of the Union address, during which he discussed MS-13.
“Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as illegal unaccompanied alien minors and wound up in Kayla and Nisa's high school," Trump said at the time, adding that he is “calling on Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13 and other criminal gangs to break into our country."
No trial date has been announced for the Saenz brothers. According to reports, since being locked up, the two have been involved in violent attacks on other inmates and corrections officers.
If they are put to death, it would mark the first execution in New York in 66 years after death row in New York was disestablished in July 2008 by then Gov. David Paterson.
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