Queens Village man gets 45 years for fatally shooting a Ridgewood teenager in botched drug robbery

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A Queens Village man will be spending the next 45 years behind bars for fatally shooting a Ridgewood teenager and wounding another man during an attempted drug robbery in January 2015, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that Jairam C. Ali Suarez, 26, was convicted back in October of two counts of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second degree robbery and second-degree attempted robbery.

According to trial testimony, on Jan. 6, 2015, Wilfredo Aponte, 21, was in the back seat of a car parked in front of 150-22 130th St. when Suarez opened the back door and entered the vehicle. Suarez planned on robbing the car’s occupants of the pound of marijuana the victims believed Suarez was there to buy.

While inside the vehicle, Suarez displayed a gun and shot Aponte once in the upper right leg. He then turned to the firearm toward the driver, John Pichardo, 19, and fatally shot him once in the head before fleeing the scene.

Aponte was transported to a local Queens hospital and treated for his injuries.

“There is no place in a civilized society for violence and senseless killing,” Brown said in a statement on Nov. 28. “A jury weighed the evidence and found the defendant guilty of committing a cruel and callous act motivated by greed. The court has now sentenced the defendant to a very long term of incarceration that will both punish him and protect society.”