A Queens Village man was sentenced to 45 years to life for the 2015 murder of a man in South Ozone Park and the shooting of another man during an attempted drug robbery, the Queens district attorney said.
Jairam C. Ali Suarez, 26, of 214th Street in Queens Village, was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree robbery and second-degree attempted robbery in October.
Queens DA Richard Brown reported that one of the victims, Wilfredo Aponte, 21, of Ridgewood, was in the back seat of a car at 150-22 130th St. in South Ozone Park on the evening of Jan. 6, 2015, when Suarez got in the back seat with him. Suarez then attempted to rob Aponte and John Pichardo, 19, the driver, of one pound of marijuana that he had initially purported to be buying. He pulled out a gun, shot Aponte in the upper right leg and then turned the gun on Pichardo and shot him in the head, killing him.
Aponte was brought to a nearby hospital and treated for his injuries.
“There is no place in a civilized society for violence and senseless killing,” Brown said. “A jury weighed the evidence and found the defendant guilty of committing a cruel and callous act motivated by greed. The court has now sentenced the defendant to a very long term of incarceration that will both punish him and protect society.”