A Brooklyn teen was indicted by a Queens grand jury for murder in the fatal shooting of a Corona man in July, and a woman is charged in the indictment with hindering prosecution, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Dennis Vassilenko, 18, of 72nd Street in Bay Ridge, was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder Wednesday, Sept. 22 on a three-count indictment charging him with murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Stephanie Pena, 20, who also lives on 72nd Street in Bay Ridge, was arraigned on Sept. 9 before Justice Holder on the same indictment that charges her with hindering prosecution and obstructing governmental administration.
According to the charges, on July 7, both defendants were seen on surveillance video exiting a black SUV parked near 96th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Corona. Moments later, they are observed walking with the victim, 17-year-old Eduardo Hernandez-Martinez and after a few minutes, the defendants and the victim go their separate ways.
Vassilenko and Hernandez-Martinez are subsequently seen walking together again outside the Sabor Latino Restaurant and Bar on 95-48 40th Road, when prosecutors say Vassilenko allegedly pulled out a firearm and shot the victim twice in the torso.
Vassilenko then allegedly ran to the same black SUV from earlier, which was parked across the street from where the shooting occurred, entered the backseat, and the car was driven away from the area.
EMS responded to the scene and rushed Hernandez-Martinez to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Detectives from the regional fugitive task force busted Vassilenko during an early morning raid on Thursday, July 29, at his Brooklyn home.
“This was a brutal killing of a teenager, another tragic example of the mayhem and heartache caused by easy access to illegal guns,” Katz said. “The defendant, in this case, will face justice in our courts, along with the co-defendant who allegedly aided him in his escape from the scene.”
Justice Holder set Vassilenko’s return date for Oct. 8. If convicted, Vassilenko faces up to 25 years to life in prison. Pena’s return date is also Oct. 8. If convicted she faces up to 2 to 7 years in prison.