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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Convicted gunmen in Bayamón pizzeria massacre get 198 years in prison

Four men were sentenced for a massacre that occurred at the Palacio de las Pizzas in Bayamón in 2017.

By The Star Staff

The Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández announced Thursday that Richard López Torres (“Colorao”), José Jiménez Echevarría (“Cuba”), Luis Pastrana Benejam (“Capestrano”) and José Luis Cintrón Aponte (Bebo Segueta), who were responsible for the massacre that occurred at the Palacio de las Pizzas in Bayamón in 2017, were sentenced to a total of 198 years and 219 days in prison.

“With this sentence, which is the maximum penalty for the crimes charged, the Department of Justice and the Police Bureau do justice to the victims and we ensure that these criminal actors pay for their actions and do not return to the streets to disturb the citizens,” the Justice chief said.

“I appreciate the commendable work carried out by the prosecutors and police officers in charge of the process,” he added. “The Department of Justice will continue to work tirelessly to make these individuals pay for their criminal acts.”

After a trial that lasted a little more than a year, Judge Carmen Otero Ferreira handed down the sentence in Room 706 in the Court of First Instance of Bayamón, on Dec. 19, after a jury unanimously found the accused guilty. A special penalty of $1,500 was also imposed on three of the convicts, with the exception of Pastrana Benejam.

Among the victims who died were three people identified as Giovanny Berríos Rojas, who had a criminal history, José Dones Rosario and Miguel Ángel Torres Pantojas, two innocent victims who were visiting the business at the time of the events. In addition, the shooters injured a baby, a teenager and another person.

Prosecutors Yarelly Sánchez Courtney, Gretchen Pérez Catinchi, Iván Rivera Labrador and Linda Sepúlveda Irizarry proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the four individuals sentenced Thursday were the co-authors of the crime, the Justice secretary said. Several others involved, identified as Kelvin Rivera Ortíz, William Rivera Ortíz and Enoc Yamil Díaz Alicea, pleaded guilty, and one remains wanted by the police.

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