Man pleads guilty to role in teen’s fatal MS-13 stabbing

Posted: Updated:
CENTRAL ISLIP -

An MS-13 member admitted to stabbing a teen to death in Brentwood two years ago in a brutal gang assault.

Elmer Alexander Lopez, a 20-year-old known as "Smiley," pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge Monday in connection with the slaying of 18-year-old Jose Pena in 2016.

Pena went missing in June of that year, and his skeletal remains were later uncovered at the Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center after an extensive search.

Prosecutors say at least five MS-13 members lured him into the woods in Brentwood and stabbed him to death.

In court, Lopez said he and other gang members killed Pena because they were told "he violated the rules."

Prior to the slaying, Lopez and other MS-13 members held meetings about whether to kill Pena, prosecutors say. They suspected he had cooperated with law enforcement and thought he might have been homosexual.

If he had been convicted at trial, Lopez would have faced a maximum of life in prison. Under a plea agreement, he faces a recommended punishment of 24 to 29 years at his sentencing in September.

  • Long Island Top StoriesMore>>

  • Video shows near miss between BMX rider, pickup truck

    Video shows near miss between BMX rider, pickup truck

    Thursday, April 26 2018 10:29 PM EDT2018-04-27 02:29:20 GMT
    A group of young bicyclists clashed with a driver on Park Avenue in North Babylon Saturday, and the encounter was caught on video.A group of young bicyclists clashed with a driver on Park Avenue in North Babylon Saturday, and the encounter was caught on video.

    A group of young bicyclists clashed with a driver on Park Avenue in North Babylon Saturday, and the encounter was caught on video. 

    A group of young bicyclists clashed with a driver on Park Avenue in North Babylon Saturday, and the encounter was caught on video. 

  • AAA: Fatal hit-and-run crashes on the rise in the U.S.

    AAA: Fatal hit-and-run crashes on the rise in the U.S.

    Thursday, April 26 2018 5:29 PM EDT2018-04-26 21:29:10 GMT
    Fatal hit-and-run crashes are on the rise across the United States, according to a recently released AAA study.Fatal hit-and-run crashes are on the rise across the United States, according to a recently released AAA study.

    Fatal hit-and-run crashes are on the rise across the United States, according to a recently released AAA study.

    Fatal hit-and-run crashes are on the rise across the United States, according to a recently released AAA study.

  • What's in the Water: Eco-friendly water treatment in Suffolk

    What's in the Water: Eco-friendly water treatment in Suffolk

    Thursday, April 26 2018 9:49 AM EDT2018-04-26 13:49:42 GMT
    Suffolk County is promoting an eco-friendly water treatment device that replaces cesspools or septic tanks in an effort to help clean up Long Island's groundwater and save its bays.Suffolk County is promoting an eco-friendly water treatment device that replaces cesspools or septic tanks in an effort to help clean up Long Island's groundwater and save its bays.

    Suffolk County is promoting an eco-friendly water treatment device that replaces cesspools or septic tanks in an effort to help clean up Long Island's groundwater and save its bays.

    Suffolk County is promoting an eco-friendly water treatment device that replaces cesspools or septic tanks in an effort to help clean up Long Island's groundwater and save its bays.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."