A violent crime victim ready to testify against MS-13 Gang members in Long Island, New York, has been murdered after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) latest jailbreak law forced witness names to be revealed to the defense in the criminal case.
Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez, 36-years-old, who was set to testify against MS-13 Gang members who had allegedly beaten and stabbed him in October 2018, was found bludgeoned to death after Cuomo’s law forced his identity to be released to the defense in the ongoing pre-trial stage, according to Newsday.
“This courageous man was prepared to testify against his alleged assailants at an upcoming trial, but he was brutally beaten to death before he could,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement to the media.
“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,” Singas said.
Originally, Rodriguez’s identity was protected as a witness against the MS-13 Gang members in the alleged 2018 attack. As Breitbart News warned in December 2019, though, Rodriguez’s identity was released to the defense after elected New York Democrats and Cuomo passed a jailbreak law that mandates witnesses for the prosecution be turned over to the defense in criminal trials no later than 15 days after the defendants’ arraignment.
The judge in the trial told the defense not to reveal Rodriguez’s identity to their clients until the trial started. In interviews with Newsday, defense attorneys representing the two accused MS-13 Gang members said they did not disclose Rodriguez’s name to their clients:
“I never gave him the name of those people. And he never asked me for it,” Greg Madey said Wednesday, the defense attorney for one of the defendants, Denis Pineda, 20. “I’m offended by the allegation that Denis Pineda had something to do with orchestrating this murder,” he added of Rodriguez’s slaying. [Emphasis added]
Justin Feinman, the defense attorney for Elian Ramos Velasquez, 19, said that the suggestion “at this point to say that it was a defense attorney that leaked without more information is completely inappropriate.” [Emphasis added]
The New York law, which went into effect this January, ensures that suspects accused of crimes deemed “non-violent” are not jailed before their trial dates and do not have to post bail. Instead, these suspects are released directly back into the public and expected to show up for their court dates.
Those so-called non-violent crimes include second-degree manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child, criminally negligent homicide, and aggravated vehicular homicide.
Likewise, if suspects show up to their court dates after their release, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has started a program to gift them with prizes like Mets tickets, movie passes, and gift cards.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.