Wilson Felipe Andrade-Molina appears at his murder trial at Suffolk...

Wilson Felipe Andrade-Molina appears at his murder trial at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Monday. Credit: James Carbone

A Brentwood man searched the internet to learn the penalty for murder the evening before he fatally stabbed his cousin inside the Hauppauge machine shop where they both worked, a Suffolk prosecutor said during opening statements at the defendant's Riverhead murder trial Monday.

Assistant District Attorney Dena Rizopoulos told the jury seated before State Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei the final two searches defendant Wilson Felipe Andrade-Molina, 38, made on his phone on March 29, 2023, contained the question “How many years do you get for homicide?”

“Less than 12 hours later, his cousin was murdered,” Rizopoulos said, calling the attack “premeditated.”

Andrade-Molina is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Luis Miguel Andrade-Cando, 38, of Brentwood, and second-degree attempted murder for the near-fatal attack of Andrade-Condo's live-in girlfriend, Santa Pena.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • A Brentwood man searched the internet to learn the penalty for murder the evening before he fatally stabbed his cousin, a Suffolk prosecutor said Monday.
  • Assistant District Attorney Dena Rizopoulos told the jury seated before State Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei the final two searches defendant Wilson Felipe Andrade-Molina, 38, made on his phone on March 29, 2023, contained the question “How many years do you get for homicide?”
  • Andrade-Molina is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Luis Miguel Andrade-Cando, 38, of Brentwood, and second-degree attempted murder for the near-fatal attack of Andrade-Condo's live-in girlfriend, Santa Pena.

Rizopoulos said the evidence at trial, which includes surveillance video footage and DNA, will show Andrade-Molina stabbed Andrade-Condo in the neck and slashed his hands and wrist with a knife shortly after they both arrived for their 7:30 a.m. shifts at Electronic Machine Parts on Oser Avenue. He then went to his cousin’s basement apartment on Charter Oaks Avenue in Brentwood, where he stabbed Pena several times with a knife before her screams woke up her son, who alerted a neighbor to dial 911, the prosecutor said.

“[Andrade-Molina] looked like he was going to charge at [Pena’s son],” Rizopoulos said of the son’s account. “Then they connected eyes and he plunged that knife back into his mother … in the side, between her ribs.”

Andrade-Molina was stopped about an hour later by a Suffolk County police patrolman at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Gibson Street in Bay Shore, a moment captured on the officer’s body camera, Rizopoulos said.

“You will hear [the officer] ask him as he does a safety search, ‘Where's the knife?’ " said Rizopoulos, who is trying the case with fellow Assistant District Attorney Elena Tomaro. “And you will hear the defendant say, ‘I leave it there.’”

Rizopoulos said DNA found on the handle of a knife in a lunch bag matched the defendant and blood detected on the blade matched his alleged victim. Surveillance footage showed Andrade-Molina leaving the machine shop and entering the apartment with the bag. Andrade-Condo’s DNA was also detected on the bloodstained steering wheel, work goggles and jacket in Andrade-Molina’s car at the time of his arrest, the prosecutor said.

Andrade-Condo’s body was found behind carts carrying tools and machine parts by co-workers who alerted police to their discovery just as officers arrived to check on his well-being following the attack on his girlfriend, prosecutors said.

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office determined the injuries to Andrade-Condo’s neck and wrist both could have caused his death, which was found to be the result of “multiple sharp-force injuries,” according to prosecutors.

Defense attorney Steven Politi, of Central Islip, reminded the jury of one thing the district attorney’s office couldn’t introduce during its opening arguments: a motive.

Politi said his client, a married father of two, is described by those who know him as a “peaceful man” who loved his cousin. He said they worked together at the shop each day and did not appear to ever have a falling out.

“Why would somebody who loves their cousin do that?” Politi said during his own opening statement. “There were never any issues between my client and his cousin. If they bring in a witness that says that, it will be the first time I've heard it in 14 months.”

Politi accused investigators of a “rush to judgment” in blaming Andrade-Molina for the attacks and performing an incomplete investigation as a result.

“There’s no motive because he didn’t do it,” Politi said, speaking outside the courthouse. He said he expects a second suspect will emerge as the trial progresses.

Rizopoulos preemptively disputed the defense’s position in her opening statement, telling the jurors that even though the evidence presented at trial might not explain “why any of this has happened, it will be very clear who committed these crimes.”

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