The grieving mother of a teen who authorities said was murdered by an MS-13 member said Tuesday in Nassau County Court that she, too, "died" when the defendant shot her son in the head on a Uniondale street in 2016.
Gloria Raudalas, the mother of Alexon Moya, wept through most of the hearing as acting State Supreme Court Justice William O’Brien sentenced Edar Ventura to 25 years to life for the murders of Moya, 16, and Carlos Rivas-Majano, 22, both of Uniondale.
The judge also sentenced Ventura to at least 7 years in prison on a weapons charge and an attempted murder charge, and said those sentences should be served after Ventura completes his sentence for the homicides.
“I would like to say he not only killed my son, he killed me, because he is my baby,” Raudalas said through a Spanish interpreter. “May God forgive him. I would truly like to forgive him, but I can’t. He took away from me being able to kiss him again and hug him again.”
Ventura, 21, also of Uniondale, pleaded guilty last month to fatally shooting Moya and participating in the machete murder of Rivas-Majano. District Attorney Madeline Singas had asked for a sentence of 40 years to life.
Ventura’s attorney, David Haber of Mineola, told O’Brien that Ventura has accepted responsibility for his actions and expressed remorse for the deaths of the two young men.
“I am very, very sorry for the pain I have caused the family,” Ventura said through an interpreter, glancing back at Raudalas.
Singas, however, called Ventura “a cold-blooded killer” who murdered the two young men to improve his status in MS-13. Assistant District Attorney Jared Rosenblatt said Ventura, also known as "Despiadado” (Spanish for “Ruthless”) and as “Trauma,” deserved to spend the rest of his life “in a windowless cell in upstate New York.”
Rosenblatt challenged any suggestion that Ventura, a member of MS-13’s Downtown Criminals clique, was sorry for his role in the murders. Rosenblatt said Ventura’s primary concern after he pleaded guilty on March 14 was that “he be back on the early bus to jail.”
Prosecutors said Ventura and co-defendant Jeustin David Maldonado did not plan on killing Moya when they set out to kill a perceived enemy of MS-13 in December 2016. The defendants biked to Fenimore Avenue in Uniondale, where they found their target sitting in a car. Maldonado ordered the perceived enemy of the gang out of the car, displayed gang signs and yelled, “La Mara,” a reference to the transnational gang responsible for about two dozen murders on Long Island in recent years, prosecutors said.
Ventura then pulled out a gun and fired at least three rounds, striking Moya, who was standing with other individuals nearby. Taken to a hospital, Moya was pronounced dead two days later on Dec. 15, 2016.
Maldonado pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the second degree and is awaiting sentence.
Rivas-Majano, meanwhile, was lured into woods near the Meadowbrook Parkway and Glen Curtiss Boulevard in Uniondale on Aug. 11, 2017, and hacked and stabbed to death with machetes by Ventura and four other alleged MS-13 members, prosecutors said. His body was found in a shallow grave near Kellenberg Memorial High School more than a year later, in August 2018. Authorities said Rivas-Majano was targeted because MS-13 members believed he was cooperating with law-enforcement officials.
Four co-defendants, in addition to Ventura, also alleged members of MS-13, were apprehended and their cases are pending. The investigation is continuing.