Corona man gets 25 years to life for gunning down victim in Jackson Heights bodega ambush: DA

Corona Jackson Heights
A Corona man was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in a fatal shooting inside a Jackson Heights bodega while his accomplice from the Bronx was sentenced to 18 years behind bars for his role in the bloody ambush. (Photo by Bill Parry)

A Corona man could spend the rest of his life behind bars for gunning down a man inside a Jackson Heights bodega in 2018, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Monday.

Fabian DeJesus-Garcia, 32, of Northern Boulevard, was convicted at trial on murder and other crimes and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. His Bronx accomplice, Gamaliel Desiderio-Sanchez, also 32, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 18 years in prison in the fatal shooting of Seferino Flores-Pineda.

According to court records, on the night of March 22, 2018, the two defendants went to the 5 de Mayo Deli on Roosevelt Avenue near 81st Street in Jackson Heights just after 8 p.m., at which time Desiderio-Sanchez handed DeJesus-Garcia a .32-caliber pistol. The 31-year-old victim entered the bodega and engaged in a conversation with Desiderio-Sanchez. As the two men talked, Dejesus-Garcia approached the victim from behind and shot him three times in the face and chest. The two men fled the scene.

Officers from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst arrived and EMS rushed Flores-Pineda to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he died from his injuries. DeJesus-Garcia was found guilty of murder in the second degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second-degree possession of pistol ammunition following a trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michelle Johnson in March.

On May 13, Justice Johnson sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison. Defendant Desiderio-Sanchez, of St. Ann’s Avenue in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Justice Johnson, also in March, who sentenced him on May 13 to 18 years in prison, to be followed by five years’ post-release supervision.

“This was an execution in a busy commercial area with the defendants ambushing the victim,” Katz said. “While one distracted the target, the other walked up from behind and shot him without provocation. My office will not stand for brazen acts of violence on the streets of Queens.”