Survivor of MS-13 killings testifies against woman accused of leading victims to their demise

Alexander Ruiz ran for his life, and his four friends were killed.

News 12 Staff

Mar 21, 2022, 9:18 AM

Updated 792 days ago


The lone survivor of an MS-13 killing of four men in a Central Islip park testified against a woman accused of luring the victims to the gang members.
It happened at the federal courthouse in Central Islip on Monday.
Prosecutors say Leniz Escobar was an associate of MS-13, who provoked the murders and helped gang members carry them out.
In April 2017, when she was 17, authorities say Escobar helped the MS-13 gang commit the murders of four men.
Alexander Ruiz, 22, says he and his friends were brought into a wooded area of the park by Escobar to smoke marijuana.
When they got there, he says around a dozen MS-13 gang members appeared and ordered them to the ground.
Ruiz ran for his life, and his four friends were killed.
Prosecutors say Ruiz pretended to be part of MS-13 in social media posts, which the gang sees as a sign of disrespect and punishable by death.
Escobar allegedly showed those posts to gang members, including her boyfriend
According to cell phone records presented in court, Escobar texted Ruiz the evening before the murders, writing, "Hey, so what's up for tomorrow?"
Escobar's defense attorney claims Escobar was never an MS-13 associate and did not help plan the killings.
"Ms. Escobar maintains her innocence, she's pled not guilty," says defense attorney Jesse Siegel.
Escobar is being tried as an adult in the case.
Four accused members of MS-13 are awaiting trial for the killings, and two others will be sentenced to at least 50 years in prison

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