FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison after Pleading Guilty
To Participating in Attack on Two Bedford-Stuyvesant Brothers, Killing One
Innocent Victims Were Stabbed and Robbed on Way Home from Work
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a fifth gang member who participated in an attack that left a 23-year-old man dead and his brother injured has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter last month. Four other gang members were previously sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of robbery and murder at trial earlier this year.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Today’s sentencing brings to justice the final defendant in this harrowing case in which an innocent young man was killed and his brother was injured. We have now held all five defendants who participated in the robbery accountable and ensured they will spend many years in prison for their actions.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Celestino Martinez, 25, of Prospect Park South, in Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Laporte to 20 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision following his guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter on August 16, 2017. Four co-defendants, Carmello Bello, 28, and Miguel Bello, 34, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Javier Ortiz, 35, and Martin Carillo, 36 of Sunset Park, Brooklyn were convicted of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery earlier this year following a jury trial before Justice Laporte. Each of the defendants was sentenced to 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., on Myrtle Avenue between Marcy and Tompkins Avenues in Bedford Stuyvesant, 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, repeatedly punched, kicked and stabbed 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, and officers found a knife in the pocket of one defendant. Two additional knives were recovered from the crime scene. 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, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.