CENTRAL ISLIP - Opening statements were delivered on Monday in the trial of a reputed MS-13 member accused of gunning down a Central Islip mom and her 2-year-old son.
U.S. Prosecutor John Durham told jurors today that Adalberto Guzman and two others plotted to kill Vanessa Argueta, 19, because she befriended the 18th Street Gang, a rival of MS-13.
According to prosecutors, Guzman and other gang members, including Argueta’s ex-boyfriend, invited her and her 2-year-old son Diego out to dinner in February 2010. Instead, they allegedly lured the two into the woods in Central Islip and killed them. Authorities believe the child was killed out of fear he might grow up and seek revenge.
Prosecutors maintain that Guzman was heard in a wire-tapped call admitting to his role in the deaths and also to taking one of the boy’s toys as a souvenir.
The defense says the evidence in the case is not enough for a conviction because Guzman’s DNA was never found on the murder weapon or at the crime scene.
The trial is expected to last a couple of weeks. Guzman is being charged with racketeering and two counts of murder, among other charges. He could face life in prison if convicted.