FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 6, 2017
Four Gang Members Convicted of Attacking
Two Bedford-Stuyvesant Brothers, Killing One
Defendants Stabbed and Robbed Victims, Who Were Coming Home from Work
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that four known gang members have been convicted of second-degree murder, robbery, and related offenses for fatally stabbing a 23-year-old man and wounding his brother. The brothers were returning home from work in the early morning hours of September 7, 2014. One of the defendants later threatened the surviving victim in open court.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The victims—two innocent and hard-working brothers—courageously stood up against a vicious attack that began as a robbery and ended with one brother’s tragic death. These convictions ensure that these violent defendants are kept off of our streets.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendants as Carmello Bello, 28, and Miguel Bello, 34, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Javier Ortiz, 35, and Martin Carillo, 36 of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. All four defendants were convicted last week of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery; some were convicted of related, lesser offenses. The convictions followed a two-jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Laporte. The defendants will be sentenced on April 17, 2017, at which time they each face a maximum of 25 years-to-life in prison.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on September 7, 2014, at approximately 1:50 a.m., the defendants approached and demanded money from the victims, Juan Carlos Luna-Juarez, 23, and his 27-year-old brother as they returned home from work.
When the victims did not comply the defendants, acting together, proceeded to repeatedly punch, kick, and stab the two victims. The defendants then stole a bike and backpack, according to trial testimony. During the attack, Juan Juarez was stabbed approximately 10 times and died as the result of a puncture wound to the heart. His brother suffered stab wounds to his leg and back and survived the injuries.
The defendants, all members of the Ninos Malos gang, were apprehended near the crime scene shortly after the attack. When they were arrested, two defendants had blood on their clothing, which was later determined to belong to the victims, while officers found a knife in the pocket of one defendant. Two additional knives were recovered from the crime scene on Myrtle Avenue between Marcy and Tompkins Avenues. Defendant Miguel Bello subsequently admitted to being at the crime scene and stabbing someone, the evidence showed.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorneys Yaniris Urraca and Leila Rosini, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, VCE Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.