A Uniondale teen was charged Wednesday with attempted murder after police said he accompanied a gunman who shot and killed a 16-year-old in December in what authorities alleged was a gang-related slaying.
Jeustin David-Maldonado, 17, and the shooter, who is still at large, rode their bicycles up to a group of people standing on Fenimore Avenue in Uniondale on Dec. 13, 2016 to confront them about an ongoing dispute, Nassau police said. As David-Maldonado shouted “MARA-MARA,” police said the gunman pulled out a loaded 9-mm semi-automatic pistol and fired three times, striking Alexon Moya of Uniondale in the head.
Mara means gang in Spanish, and authorities alleged that David-Maldonado is a member of the violent street gang, MS-13. The men fled on their bicycles, police said.
Moya, who initially survived the shooting, was taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, where he died three days later.
David-Maldonado was charged with one count of second-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree conspiracy and one count of second-degree criminal facilitation. He was arrested Tuesday and accused of acting in concert with the shooter.
David-Maldonado pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead and was ordered held without bail.
A young man, who was in court and who identified himself as David-Maldonado’s cousin, said David-Maldonado was with him at the time of the shooting, which police said occurred at about 11:30 p.m.
“He didn’t do nothing. He was at home chilling, playing Xbox,” the young man said later outside of court. He would not give his name.
Minutes later, he retracted his statement, saying he was joking because a television camera was trained on him.
Nassau Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, the police department’s top spokesman, would not say what evidence authorities have that put David-Maldonado at the scene of the shooting. And, he would not describe the ongoing dispute.
“That is still under investigation at this time also,” LeBrun said at a news conference in Mineola.
LeBrun also declined to say whether David-Maldonado identified the shooter or whether he is cooperating with police.
David-Maldonado was also charged with fourth-degree possession of a dangerous weapon and third-degree menacing in a separate incident on Jan. 7 that involved his brother.
— With Gary Dymski