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Yonkers Man Sentenced For Revenge Murder Of 16-Year-Old After Fistfight

U.S. District Court in White Plains.
U.S. District Court in White Plains. Photo Credit: Google Maps

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A gangster from Westchester will serve decades in prison for his role in the murder of a teenage boy.

Joon Kim, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that Juan “KJ” Martinez has of Yonkers been sentenced in United States district court to a term of 30 years in prison for his participation in a racketeering conspiracy and the murder of a 16-year-old in September 2005.

Martinez was a member of the Yonkers faction of the Trinitarios Gang, which was formed in the New York State prison system in the early 1990s, Kim noted.

According to Kim, on Sept. 5, 2005, Martinez, who was 30 years old at the time of the incident, was involved in a fistfight with his teenage victim during a pickup basketball game in Yonkers. He proceeded to retaliate by attacking with a machete, then by enlisting members of his gang to attack him, using guns, knives, swords to beat and kill the 16-year-old.

In addition to the prison term, Martinez, now 42, was sentenced to five years of supervised release. Kim said that nearly 150 members of the Trinitarios gang has been charged with multiple crimes as part of a pair of special investigations.

“On a Labor Day weekend 12 years ago, Juan Martinez recruited a hit squad of his fellow Trinitarios Gang members to murder 16-year-old Ka’Shawn Phillips, who had earlier been involved in a fistfight with Martinez,” Kim said in a statement. “The Trinitarios Gang members recruited by Martinez brutally shot, beat, and stabbed Phillips to death in the middle of the street.

“While nothing can bring Phillips back, we hope his family finds a measure of solace in the justice achieved by today’s sentence.  Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively prosecute all those who engage in these senseless acts of violence in our communities.”

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