Witness Against MS-13 Murdered After Identity Released To Defense

Sandy Malone

Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez was murdered after a judge released his identity under the state's new criminal justice laws.

New Cassel, NY – A man who was scheduled to testify against MS-13 gang members was murdered outside his home because of New York’s new criminal justice reforms that now require prosecutors to turn over witnesses’ names 15 days ahead of trial.

Although many people have been focused on the failure of the new bail reform laws the state put into effect that are releasing violent and repeat offenders back onto the streets without bail, the changes to New York’s discovery law have just as dire consequences, The New York Times reported.

New York had been one of 10 states that allowed prosecutors to withhold a witness’ identity from the defense until the eve of trial.

But under new laws, key witness and evidence must be shared within 15 days of a suspect’s arraignment.

There are exceptions to the rule – a judge can shield witnesses’ identities with a protective order - but in the case of 36-year-old Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez, a judge ordered his identity to be revealed in December of 2019, according to The New York Times.

Rodriguez, in October of 2018, intervened when he saw two boys being threatened by members of MS-13.

The gang members then proceeded to beat the good Samaritan in the head with a bat and stab him repeatedly, The New York Times reported.

Officials said that despite having almost lost his life for a good deed, Rodriguez was willing to testify against his MS-13 attackers.

But then Nassau County Court Judge Helene F. Gugerty ordered that his identity be given to defense attorneys last month, effectively signing Rodriguez’s death warrant.

He was found beaten to death in his yard on Sunday, The New York Times reported.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said that being forced to identify Rodriguez ahead of the trial may have cost him his life.

“This courageous man was prepared to testify against alleged assailants at an upcoming trial, but he was brutally beaten to death before he could,” Singas said a statement. "This case underscores the importance of safeguarding the identities of witnesses and victims of crime and our hearts are with Mr. Maldonado’s family and friends as we grieve his loss."

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder filled in some of the details of what happened after the judge ordered prosecutors to turn Rodriguez’s name over to the defense, The New York Times reported.

Commissioner Ryder said the trial was initially scheduled for Jan. 6 but had been delayed, and that a “pattern of intimidation” against Rodriguez had started then.

He told Newsday that Rodriguez was assaulted and another victim was shot at after their names were released to the defendants’ attorneys.

“That protective order, because of the new changes in the law, was lifted,” the commissioner said. “We don’t know if the defense counsel turned that info over to the defendants.”

Defense attorneys were quick to push back, according to Newsday.

“I never gave him the name of those people. And he never asked me for it,” defense attorney Greg Madey, who is representing 20-year-old Denis Pineda in the case, said. “I’m offended by the allegation that Denis Pineda had something to do with orchestrating this murder.”

Another attorney involved in the case said it was “completely inappropriate” to suggest the defendants got the information from their attorneys, Newsday reported.

“I feel horrible that this happened,” said Justin Feinman, attorney for 19-year-old defendant Elian Ramos Velasquez. “This should have never happened. I just don’t see how you can blame a particular judge or attorney.”

Although the judge had ordered the information released to defense attorneys in December of 2019, she also said the defendants couldn’t see it until Jan. 6, the planned start date for the trial, according to Newsday.

But the trial was delayed because under the new criminal justice laws that went into effect at the start of the year, the defense was entitled to have all the discovery for a certain number of days ahead of trial.

That meant that the trial for Rodriguez’s attackers couldn’t have begun on Jan. 6, Newsday reported.

"We continued to request that the identities of the witnesses be protected until we could be ready for trial,” the district attorney claimed.

However, court officials said neither side’s attorneys sought a change to the date on the judge’s protective order when the trial didn’t start as planned, Newsday reported.

Law enforcement has placed the blame for Rodriguez’s murder squarely at the feet of Democratic lawmakers who passed the criminal justice changes.

"We're asking Albany to go back and rethink it,” Commissioner Ryder told Newsday. “Come back with changes to that law, but it needs to happen quickly before we have another victim as in this case.”

Proponents of the new law have said there is no direct correlation between the new law and Rodriguez’s death, and defended the reforms.

"Nothing in the new law prevents the district attorney from seeking and being granted a protective order for the safety of witnesses," an anonymous state official told Newsday. "Based on the facts that we understand, there was a protective order and there was a move to lift the protective order. The judge granted that."

Comments (54)
No. 1-34
J.P. DuROCHE
J.P. DuROCHE

On Friday Jan 31st's episode of "Blue Bloods" was the subject of that very Law and situation...

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

More laws meant for the damn criminals!! To hell with the victims and innocents!! Our justice has been turned completely backwards!!

JBoH
JBoH

New York, huh? Stunning. Said no one.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

who could have predicted this would happen? everyone....

whatalways3parts1
whatalways3parts1

No direct correlation between the new law and Rodriguez’s death,
and defended the reforms.

WHAT?? !!!

I HOPE / PRAY that those (officials) that made these LAWS,
will soon see the PATTERN, that THEY started.!!!
Be Accountable.!!

But, that everyone else sees, how IGNORANT it was,
to pass a LAW as this!!!

Heezels
Heezels

This is where we’re at with some defense attorneys. Anti-human, anti-law scum. They are culpable in this murder! The blood is on their hands!

Heezels
Heezels

Rest in piece Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez. You were a brave man and a credit to your community.

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

I knew this sh#t was going to happen. They officially have the inmates running the asylum! They're releasing information on rapes, robberies, assaults, how in gods green earth did they feel this was right! I'm afraid it's definitely going to stop witness's from coming forward and victims from from reporting crimes against them.........

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Trump has mentioned MS13 in his speeches, to garner support for the wall. Now that the bogus impeachment is over, maybe he will put some more focus on that gang and bring them down.

Usaf9000
Usaf9000

There is obviously no purpose for this law other than to provide criminals with names of witnesses to be dispatched. Only NY Democrats worry so much about the criminal element. Instead of executing criminals, the NY Criminal Justice System is now executing witnesses.

LEO0301
LEO0301

The attorneys for these scum bags can be offended all they want but I think it's obvious where the killers got their information. Maybe they say that kind of stuff because they're having trouble sleeping at night. Nah, never mind, attorneys have no conscience, right @Burgers Allday? Well let's hope MS13 doesn't turn on the lawyers for whatever reason killing them and all their loved ones.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

It's as if the law was enacted to enable witness assassination. There needs to be a huge lawsuit by the family.

Crosafire
Crosafire

This new law is stupid and dangerous

Aramovich
Aramovich

Apparently liberals are incapable or unwilling to think through their policies. You have to be ignorant or blind to not see what would happen. Now if the perps were incarcerated...

nojoky123
nojoky123

A citizen trying to the right thing and this happens! I'm beyond outraged.

Marxest
Marxest

That is an atrocity. I hope is murderer(s) are brought to justice!

Frank Kastle
Frank Kastle

New York,where the law abiding citizen can't protect his own with a firearm but criminals are armed to the teeth!

HFD120
HFD120

The lawyers may not have given the information,but, think of the many employees in their offices, the prosecutors office and the judges office staff. A couple thousand dollars can buy a lot of information. If they find the "leak" they should be charged with accessory to murder.

Cissyrae54
Cissyrae54

Really...who did not see this coming? Prayers for the life lost. Heinous voodoo slams for the people who made this possible.

Aco1979
Aco1979

While the wall is being built, in addition to California can we build one around New York? Just a thought.

Andytheman
Andytheman

NY City police officer gets his butt kicked by a thug on a street corner with a vodka bottle. His famale " partner" watched and patted the suspect on the back yelling at him to leave her partner alone. Nothing else. She was a coward but also afraid to get thrown in jail by her very own department's maggot brass.
The guy was eventually arrested and taken in. No later than 4 hours later he left the jail with a Walmart gift card to encourage him to return to court and went right back to the same corner to again harass passerby. This time he had a body guard. An off duty police officer! If I was a LEO in NY I would quit in a heartbeat.

colonelorville
colonelorville

This is a terrible example of some just plain stupid people and what they've done to victims and people who have observed and reported crimes. I'm long retired but still have friends and family who are in LE out there. Also friends and family who have been victims and witnesses of crimes. Anarchy is thy name. The City that I did my best to "SERVE AND PROTECT" is a terrible example. The DISTRICT ATTORNEY there. OMG!!!

Stanracer
Stanracer

STOP VOTING IN BLEEDING HEART, HUG-A-THUG, POLICE HATING LIBERALS POLITICIANS!!!!!

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

New York had been one of 10 states that allowed prosecutors to withhold a witness’ identity from the defense until the eve of trial.

NO STATE SHOULD HAVE THIS! looks like 9 to go!

Commissioner Ryder said the trial was initially scheduled for Jan. 6 but had been delayed, and that a “pattern of intimidation” against Rodriguez had started then.

instead of the cops blaming the change in the law, maybe they should have placed the victim in protective custody or witness protection! oh wait i forgot cops don't care about anyone except themselves! blame everyone else for there corruption. FUCK THE BLUE LIES MAFIA!

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

The blood of this fine man is on the hands of the judge and the Democratic lawmakers who were behind the criminal justice changes, and of course, MS-13.

Lilnatvsavg
Lilnatvsavg

Escape from NY! That’s what this state is turning into just like the movie!

Pack
Pack

It’s going to be hard to get people to testify under this set of rules. I’d say you’re better off just taking care of it yourself and not relying on the court system.

cops-kid
cops-kid

While doing the right thing, this kid was another victim of Andrew Cuomo ! RIP young man

vwiles34
vwiles34

New York and California need to get together and start their own country...Crazy Town would be the Capital.

Sensei1
Sensei1

The attorney's didn't give the name to the defendants.
Ummm...
So were the attorneys the only ones who were aware of the name?
Did they let anyone who may have turned the name over to the gang members associates see the name?
Did they provide the name to someone who was connected to the lowlifes?
LOTS of ways it could have gone down without actually providing the name to the democrats, er, defendants.

patriot36
patriot36

The blood of this young man is on the law makers of NYC, there is no doubt that him testifying for the state, being a decent law abiding citizen and doing his civic duty is dead today for doing the right thing. He was betrayed by the system he was trying to aide. NYC lawmakers are the hub of the east coast, they are starting the dismantle of America from inside, you have NY on the East and CA on the West, and both states are doing all they can with their laws to tear this country apart, to destroy the constitution to ignore our bill of rights and immigration laws... They are doing everything they can to disrupt and create kaos and they will not stop until they are under control, People have to pay attention and stop letting them pass these ridiculous laws, stand up for yourselves in the elections and rid yourself of these monsters...People are fleeing NY and they are fleeing CA, the tax base will be affected within the next few years and it is going to be so expensive that everyone will be living on the streets....and or you will be paying half of your wages to your wealthy elites and politicians....

Brasov04cluj
Brasov04cluj

A "hit" on the Judge and members of the Defense team will put future "snitches" on alert to STFU.

Consigliere187
Consigliere187

Or maybe, that's not what happened and no one id'd the witness as an informant. The witness, homeless at the time, was found beaten behind an abandoned home in the town of New Cassel on Long Island, officials said.

frog1211
frog1211

It's getting to the point where innocent people and victims would be better off in the jails that should house criminals. WAIT!! An idea!! We put the law-abiding citizens in the soon-too-be empty prisons and let the criminals run free. Of course, the criminals want to take what the citizens have and will start demanding their way into the prisons. Then we just let them in and throw away the key!!


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