July 20, 2010

Member of 18th Street gang pleads guilty to murder

A Montgomery County gang member pleaded guilty to murder Monday as prosecutors moved to wrap up a case they called the most disturbing gang-related killing they have seen in the county. Ten defendants have pleaded guilty in the Jan. 18, 2009, death of Dennys Guzman-Saenz, 15, who was abducted from a Langley Park bus stop, dragged into a car, stabbed more than 60 times and dumped into an icy creek in Gaithersburg. The assailants, all members of the 18th Street gang, kidnapped Guzman-Saenz because they thought he belonged to a rival gang, police and prosecutors said.

"That was the sole reason. It mirrors your worst fears about gang violence," Montgomery State's Attorney John McCarthy said Monday.

The attackers stabbed Guzman-Saenz while he was in the car, prosecutors said in court. At the creek, more people came out of a second car, and the assault continued. As many as nine people took turns stabbing him with at least two knives, one with a 12-inch blade. Guzman-Saenz, who was 5-9 and weighed 130 pounds, suffered wounds that extended through his torso and punctured the other side.

On Monday, Ysaud Flores, 31, admitted to driving one of the cars used in the killing. Immediately after the stabbing, another of the suspects went to a grocery store to buy a celebratory beer, police said in charging documents. Detectives were able to link Guzman-Saenz's DNA to samples taken from a knife, a knife sheath and the ceiling of Flores's Honda Accord, according to prosecutors. Of the 11 suspects arrested -- eight men and three women -- six have pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, one pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, two pleaded guilty to participating in gang activity resulting in murder and one pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact, according to court records. The 11th defendant, Daniel A. Zavala, is scheduled to plead guilty to first-degree murder Thursday.

No comments: