A Long Island MS-13 member who reportedly confessed to murdering a 36-year-old witness scheduled to testify against the gang will be tried as an adult.
Axel Daniel Sierra Argueta, who has been charged with second-degree in the homicide of a witness, tried failed to have his case moved to family court after admitting to his role in the attack of Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez in 2018.
According to a News 12 report, Sierra Argueta's defense attorney is alleging that his client's confession may have been coerced.
It is alleged that Sierra Argueta, 17, was one of nine MS-13 members who attacked Maldonado Rodriguez in 2018 when he intervened when the gang was intimidating two teenagers.
Maldonado Rodriguez was set to testify against the game until his dead body was found behind a New Cassel home at 1113 Broadway on Sunday, Feb. 2.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, Nassau County Police announced they had arrested a 17-year-old from New Cassel, but his name was not released until this week.
Reportedly, gang members in jail contacted people not behind bars 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 earlier this month.
“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."
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