A young woman is to be tried as an adult for her role in four brutal MS-13 gang killings in 2017.
In April 2017, the unnamed suspect lured four young men into a wooded area in Central Islip, Long Island, where they were horrifically bludgeoned with machetes, knives, tree limbs and an axe by the notorious gang.
As per federal court documents, the young woman – known only as Diablita or Little Devil in court – was just eight months shy of her 18th birthday at the time of the murders. On Thursday, December 26, the US Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s decision to prosecute her as an adult.
As perNews 12, Suffolk Police Chief Gerard Gigante said Diablita – and another juvenile female – lured Michael Lopez Banega, Justin Llivicura, Jorge Tigre and Jefferson Villalobos into a wooded area where male gang members waited to attack.
In his decision to uphold Diablita’s prosecution as an adult, Judge Joseph F. Bianco detailed her conduct, which included (as per the New York Post):
Instigating the murders, along with another juvenile female, by locating photographs of some of the victims flashing MS-13 gang signs on social media (which was viewed as disrespectful because the victims were not members of MS-13), and then showing those photographs to MS-13 members.
The victims are suspected to have been part of the rival 18th Street gang.
After the murders took place, the young woman was allegedly recorded on a jailhouse phone call to her incarcerated boyfriend, confessing to the murders and accepting that it was now ‘her turn’.
When he asked if she was forced to do it, she reportedly responded: ‘No, I did it myself. I’m telling you, I did it myself. So now is my turn.’
Four members of MS-13 are currently awaiting trial for the murders, while two have already pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 50 years and 55 years in prison respectively.
After the two men were sentenced, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement:
MS-13 and the actions of the gang members in this case defy comprehension. These are teenagers who think human life is some sort of game, viciously murdering other teenagers because they were disrespected. The murders of four people during a single incident shows how vicious MS-13 members are.
One such murderer is Josue Portillo, 18, who was just 15 at the time of the slayings. He initially faced life in prison, but the judge opted to give him 55 years instead.