Alexis Nieves and Jeffrey Mackey are due back in court on March 19. NewsdayTV's Shari Einhorn reports. Credit: Photo Credit: John Roca; Newsday Staff

Two of the four defendants released without bail on charges connected to the discovery of two victims' body parts discarded in multiple Long Island parks appeared briefly before a Suffolk County judge Friday.

Jeffrey Mackey, 38, of Amityville, and Alexis Nieves, 33, who police said is homeless, were ordered by Suffolk District Court Judge Edward Hennessey to continue wearing electronic monitoring devices and return to Suffolk District Court in Central Islip on March 19.

Mackey, Nieves and their co-defendants Steven Brown, 44, and Amanda Wallace, 40, both of Amityville, are each charged with felony counts of first-degree hindering prosecution, concealment of a human corpse, and tampering with physical evidence by concealing or destroying. They all pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Wednesday and were ordered to wear electronic monitoring devices.

Mackey’s attorney, John Halverson, of Patchogue, said Friday that his client is still subject to the same conditions the judge set earlier this week, including not leaving Suffolk County. Halverson said he waived his client's right to a speedy trial. 

“The DA planned on presenting the case to a grand jury, with the same charges, I believe, today," said Halverson. "We waived that because the only thing it would have done is have another arraignment out in Riverhead, and nothing would change. So we waived their speedy trial rights and put it over for ... March 19.”

Mackey is essentially homeless now after the police search left the Amityville home he shared with his co-defendants uninhabitable, Halverson said.

Mackey and Nieves, who held hands in the courtroom, are in a relationship, Halverson confirmed.

The pair, however, left the courthouse separately. Mackey, carrying several bags, walked to the bus stop outside the courthouse entrance. He did not answer questions from reporters.

Nieves tried to cover her face with a hoodie and said “no comment” repeatedly when asked questions as she walked through the court parking lot.

Friday’s court appearances followed a contentious back-and-forth between Gov. Kathy Hochul and Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney, who had blamed the state’s controversial bail reform for the four defendants’ release from police custody after they were arraigned. The charges they face are not eligible for bail under the 2019 bail reform law that has been amended twice.

Hochul countered by questioning the investigation and why the district attorney’s office didn’t file higher-level felony charges such as murder or murder conspiracy charges that would have been bail-eligible.

At the defendants’ arraignment, Suffolk prosecutor Frank Schroeder said authorities have significant evidence against the four defendants, including human remains, meat cleavers, butcher knives, significant amounts of blood and video surveillance. The prosecutor did not specify where the weapons and blood were found.

Tierney would only say that prosecutors are ethically bound to bring charges for which they can support with evidence.

According to charging documents, between Feb. 27 at 10:53 a.m. and Monday at 4:08 a.m., the defendants removed from their shared Railroad Avenue home in Amityville “sharp instruments, multiple body parts and other related items and dispose[d] of them to conceal the crime of murder in the second degree.”

The documents said the defendants “did conceal, alter and destroy human body parts” and the “dismembered body parts were removed” from the home and were “concealed at multiple known locations.”

Authorities have not released the names of the victims and have only publicly identified them as a 53-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, whose last known address was in Yonkers. Their body parts were found in a Babylon park beginning last Thursday, and days later, wooded areas in West Babylon and Bethpage State Park.

The other two defendants, Brown and Wallace, are due to reappear in court Monday.

Two of the four defendants released without bail on charges connected to the discovery of two victims' body parts discarded in multiple Long Island parks appeared briefly before a Suffolk County judge Friday.

Jeffrey Mackey, 38, of Amityville, and Alexis Nieves, 33, who police said is homeless, were ordered by Suffolk District Court Judge Edward Hennessey to continue wearing electronic monitoring devices and return to Suffolk District Court in Central Islip on March 19.

Mackey, Nieves and their co-defendants Steven Brown, 44, and Amanda Wallace, 40, both of Amityville, are each charged with felony counts of first-degree hindering prosecution, concealment of a human corpse, and tampering with physical evidence by concealing or destroying. They all pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Wednesday and were ordered to wear electronic monitoring devices.

Mackey’s attorney, John Halverson, of Patchogue, said Friday that his client is still subject to the same conditions the judge set earlier this week, including not leaving Suffolk County. Halverson said he waived his client's right to a speedy trial. 

“The DA planned on presenting the case to a grand jury, with the same charges, I believe, today," said Halverson. "We waived that because the only thing it would have done is have another arraignment out in Riverhead, and nothing would change. So we waived their speedy trial rights and put it over for ... March 19.”

Mackey is essentially homeless now after the police search left the Amityville home he shared with his co-defendants uninhabitable, Halverson said.

Mackey and Nieves, who held hands in the courtroom, are in a relationship, Halverson confirmed.

The pair, however, left the courthouse separately. Mackey, carrying several bags, walked to the bus stop outside the courthouse entrance. He did not answer questions from reporters.

Nieves tried to cover her face with a hoodie and said “no comment” repeatedly when asked questions as she walked through the court parking lot.

Friday’s court appearances followed a contentious back-and-forth between Gov. Kathy Hochul and Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney, who had blamed the state’s controversial bail reform for the four defendants’ release from police custody after they were arraigned. The charges they face are not eligible for bail under the 2019 bail reform law that has been amended twice.

Hochul countered by questioning the investigation and why the district attorney’s office didn’t file higher-level felony charges such as murder or murder conspiracy charges that would have been bail-eligible.

At the defendants’ arraignment, Suffolk prosecutor Frank Schroeder said authorities have significant evidence against the four defendants, including human remains, meat cleavers, butcher knives, significant amounts of blood and video surveillance. The prosecutor did not specify where the weapons and blood were found.

Tierney would only say that prosecutors are ethically bound to bring charges for which they can support with evidence.

According to charging documents, between Feb. 27 at 10:53 a.m. and Monday at 4:08 a.m., the defendants removed from their shared Railroad Avenue home in Amityville “sharp instruments, multiple body parts and other related items and dispose[d] of them to conceal the crime of murder in the second degree.”

The documents said the defendants “did conceal, alter and destroy human body parts” and the “dismembered body parts were removed” from the home and were “concealed at multiple known locations.”

Authorities have not released the names of the victims and have only publicly identified them as a 53-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, whose last known address was in Yonkers. Their body parts were found in a Babylon park beginning last Thursday, and days later, wooded areas in West Babylon and Bethpage State Park.

The other two defendants, Brown and Wallace, are due to reappear in court Monday.

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