Appeals Court: Long Island Teen Charged In 4 Deaths To Be Tried As Adult

WCBS 880 Newsroom
December 27, 2019 - 6:54 pm
Courtroom

Bizoo_n/Getty Images

Categories: 

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) — Federal appeals judges say a teenager who was eight months short of her 18th birthday can be charged as an adult in the gang-related killings of four teenage males believed to be in a rival gang.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Thursday with a lower-court judge in the case against a woman who was not identified in court papers.

In a June 2018 ruling, U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Bianco cited the grisly killings of the four teenagers by members and associates of the MS-13 gang, saying the nature of the crime “overwhelmingly favors” trying her as an adult.

She was eight months from turning 18 when the deaths occurred in April 2017.

Bianco, who sits in federal court in Central Islip, said the woman allegedly instigated the murders along with another female by showing MS-13 members photographs on social media of some members of a rival gang flashing MS-13 gang signs, a gesture of disrespect because it wasn't their gang.

Prosecutors also say she participated in murder planning meetings and lured the unsuspecting victims to an isolated part of the Central Islip woods where they were killed with machetes, knives, an ax, and tree limbs.

Authorities say she also tried to disrupt the investigation by warning others involved in the killings to flee and by lying to investigators.

Bianco in the past year has sentenced two teenage males who were 15 at the time of the killings to 50 and 55 years in prison.

Prosecutors say in court papers that over a dozen MS-13 gang members surrounded the victims before they were killed “execution-style” but one youth managed to escape.

(© 2019 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)