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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gory Prince George's: Killer gang member gets 30 years

Teen Is Given 30 Years In Gang-Related Killing
Post, 14 Jan 2009 (Castaneda).
An alleged member of a violent street gang pleaded guilty yesterday and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for fatally stabbing a 15-year-old student outside a Prince George's County high school last spring.

Rony Izaguirre-Henriquez, 18, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and participating in a gang crime that lead to death. The gang offense is the first time Prince George's prosecutors have obtained a conviction under an anti-gang law enacted by state legislators last year, a spokesman for State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said.

Guillermo Enrique Medina was killed April 2 as he walked home from Parkdale High School in Riverdale. Izaguirre-Henriquez was sentenced under the terms of a plea agreement, and prosecutors said federal authorities could also seek to deport him.

Given the chance by Circuit Court Judge Larnzell Martin Jr. to speak before the sentence was imposed, Izaguirre-Henriquez, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, stood and told Guillermo's parents that their son was not the innocent boy they thought he was.

"There's one way of life at home, and another way of life in the street," Izaguirre-Henriquez, who speaks primarily Spanish, said through an interpreter. "They have to understand, they didn't know he was in a gang, but he was, and that's life, and life has to go on."

Guillermo's parents, who sat in the front row of the courtroom, declined an opportunity to speak in court. They also declined to be interviewed later.

Gulliermo's mother is a hotel maid, and his father supervises delivery trucks for a bakery. They are both from El Salvador, and each has a child in that country. They met in the United States, and Guillermo, the only child they have together, was born in Virginia.

Izaguirre-Henriquez is a member of the MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, street gang, which is composed primarily of Central American immigrants, said police and prosecutors. Investigators think Guillermo was part of a rival group, they said.

Police and prosecutors said Guillermo, known as "Pato," or duck, because he walked like a duck, was trying to avoid a confrontation in the moments before he was killed.

About 2:40 p.m. April 2, Izaguirre-Henriquez jumped out of a gold Honda, approached Guillermo and flashed a gang sign, investigators said. According to witnesses, Guillermo said he didn't want any trouble, said Assistant State's Attorney Wesley Adams. Izaguirre-Henriquez pulled out a knife and stabbed Guillermo in the chest.

Last month, Izaguirre-Henriquez's brother, Walter, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder and was sentenced to five years in prison. Walter, 19, drove his brother to and from the attack, authorities said.

The brothers are immigrants from El Salvador. Federal immigration officials will be notified of their convictions and could take steps to deport them after their prison terms are over, prosecutors said.

Homicide Detective Christopher Smith, the lead police investigator, said the brazen nature of the attack made it unusually easy to find witnesses.

"He did it right in the open, after school," Smith said outside of court. "A lot of people saw it, and a lot of people knew him."
Note: It appears from court records that Rony Izaguirre-Henriquez was arrested for this April 2 killing, allowed out on bail, and then arrested again within a few days on April 23 and charged with two counts of assault. Although the Post report does not specifically address the immigration status of the two Izaguirre-Henriquez brothers, it seems clear they are not citizens and are probably in the country illegally.

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