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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

MS-13 street gang targeted victims based on race and suspected rivalries

Alexander Aguilar, 18, of Deer Park, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the July 20 slaying of Edgar Villalobos. The case has sparked criticism of Suffolk police cutbacks because Villalobos' body remained on a Brentwood street for at least nine hours.Jose Gomez Amaya, 20, of Central Islip, and Edwin Ortiz, 19, of Brentwood, also pleaded not guilty to killing Villalobos, 28, of Bay Shore.
Assistant District Attorney Denise Merrifield said Gomez Amaya was the one who stabbed Villalobos, while Ortiz was the driver and later went back to the scene "and made sure he was dead by kicking him."Aguilar held Villalobos down during the attack, Merrifield said. All three are members of the MS-13 street gang and targeted victims based on race and suspected rivalries, Merrifield said. Aguilar is also charged with felony assault for shooting Wilson Batista in the face on June 15. Batista, 13, is still hospitalized, said his father, Wilson Batista Sr. "He's up and down," the boy's father said. "He's not talking."Also in court were relatives of Dexter Acheampong, who was shot to death in Central Islip on May 26. Ortiz is charged with second-degree murder for acting in concert by being the driver in that case, Merrifield said, while the shooter remains at large.Merrifield said Acheampong, 24, of Medford, was targeted because he was black and mistaken for a rival gang member.


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