A third man has been charged in last year’s machete slaying of a Roosevelt teenager whose remains were found during a search of local woods, authorities said.
Josue Figueroa-Velasquez, 18, of North Main Street in Freeport, allegedly killed Angel Soler, 16, who disappeared July 21 after leaving home on his mint-green bicycle and whose body was dug up Oct. 19 after investigators got a tip, Nassau County police said Tuesday.
Figueroa-Velasquez pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday morning on a charge of second-degree murder, the same charge as against his alleged accomplices, David Sosa-Guevara of Wyandanch and Victor Lopez of Roosevelt.
Figueroa-Velasquez was remanded back to custody after a short appearance. He was represented by Legal Aid.
Court papers say Figueroa-Velasquez — while acting in concert with four others, three of whom had been previously arrested — struck Soler with “a sharp cutting instrument believed to be a machete” and killed him.
Guevara was arrested in November, and he and Lopez were indicted in January, the Nassau County district attorney’s office said.
Soler’s mother last year told Newsday that she brought her son to the United States from Honduras four years ago to flee gang violence there.
Instead, Suyapa Soler and sources familiar with the case believe the teenager was killed by the MS-13 gang. One law enforcement source had said last year that Sosa-Guevara had identified himself as an MS-13 member during previous contact with authorities.
Police did not release other details about the arrest of Figueroa-Velasquez.
Soler’s death was part of a wave of killings blamed on MS-13 last year. It led to authorities intensifying their desire to eradicate the gang and toughen up on immigration.
With William Murphy
CORRECTION: Three men have been charged in the killing. An earlier version of this story misstated the number.