2017-10-18 / Front Page

Gunman Faces 50 Years In Botched Drug Killings

By Liz Goff
A 26-year-old Queens Village man is facing 50 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year, for the brutal 2015 murders of two Ridgewood men during a botched drug robbery.

A Queens jury convicted Jairam C. Ali Suarez of two counts of second-degree murder, assault, robbery, attempted robbery and weapons possession in the January 6, 2015 murders of Wilfredo Aponte, 21, and 16-year-old John Pichardo.

According to trial testimony, Aponte was seated in the rear of a vehicle parked outside 150-22 130th Street in QueensVillage early on January 6, 2015 when Suarez entered the vehicle, intending to rob the two victims of a pound of marijuana he had planned to purchase.

Inside the vehicle, Suarez pulled a gun and shot Aponte once in the upper right leg, prosecutors said. Suarez then turned the weapon on Pichardo, fatally shooting him once in the head before running from the scene.

Aponte was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his leg wound, fire officials said.

Pichardo was pronounced dead at the scene.

The jury convicted Suarez of the murders on October 11, following a 3½-week trial in Queens Supreme Court. He faces up to 50 years in prison when he is sentenced on November 9.

“In rendering its verdict, the jury found the defendant guilty of committing a cold and calculating act,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The actions of the defendant warrant imposition of a lengthy prison sentence to punish him and protect society.”

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