Alleged gang member enters guilty plea in murder case

By Philip Newman

A 20-year-old purported member of the MS 13 gang has pleaded guilty to attempted murder and other charges in the June 2014 shooting of two teenagers whom he believed to be members of a rival gang, the Queens district attorney said.

“The defendant has admitted to approaching two teenagers and firing a gun at them,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “Both victims were wounded in the gunplay but fortunately survived. This kind of random, senseless violence has no place in a civilized society.”

The defendant will be sentenced next month.

Francisco Lopez of Jamaica appeared Tuesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert Kohm and pleaded guilty to attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the DA.

Sentencing was scheduled for March 16, at which time the judge indicated he would sentence Lopez to 10 years on the attempted murder, assault and weapon counts.

All of the prison time will run concurrently and Lopez will also be sentenced to five years of post-release supervision.

Brown said that according to the charges, Hector Torres, 17, was standing outside his Jamaica residence with Jeremias Otero, 16, and another person at 9:15 p.m. June 8, 2014 when Lopez and other unidentified persons walked toward them and said “Yo, you Kings?” before firing a total of six shots from a silver revolver.

Torres was shot four times in his right arm and Otero once at the top of his head, the DA said. Both were taken to a Queens hospital, where Torres spent about two weeks during which time he underwent several surgeries for a ruptured artery and other injuries. Otero required five staples to close his wound.