Judge denies bail for man charged in alleged MS-13 gang killing

Posted: Updated:
HEMPSTEAD -

A judge denied bail Friday at the arraignment of a man accused in the gang-related death of a Roosevelt teen who police say MS-13 had "marked for death."

Detectives say Jose Lopez, 19, was friends with the victim before the attack. But when Josue Amaya Leonor, also 19, switched schools, Lopez and MS-13 allegedly turned against him. Sources tell News 12 that Lopez is an MS-13 gang member. 

As News 12 has reported, Leonor went missing in September 2016. His remains were eventually found in a wooded area of a nature preserve in Roosevelt last month, after police arrested a suspect in a different slaying also linked to the same violent gang.

Leonor was also known to friends as Joshua Aguilar. He had been hacked to death with machetes and buried in a shallow grave.

Investigators are looking into about five other suspects in connection with the brutal slaying. Some of them are already in custody on other charges, according to police, although a spokesman declined to say where they were being held.

"So these people who were supposed friends would lure him into the woods with the idea of smoking marijuana and hanging in the woods with him," said Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick. "Little did he know there were four other people waiting for him with machetes to hack him up."

Lopez faces second-degree murder charges.

The arrest comes after multiple visits to Long Island by President Donald Trump, who is vowing to dismantle the MS-13 gang.

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