Pedro Santos attacked the victim with a machete
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Hempstead gang member was sentenced today by a Nassau County judge to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of 18-year old Yunior Maldonado in November 2010.
Pedro Santos, 23, was convicted on March 9 of Murder in the 2nd Degree (an A-I felony) and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th Degree (an A misdemeanor). The trial lasted approximately two weeks and the jury deliberated for two days.
The defendant was sentenced today by Acting Supreme Court Justice William O’Brien to an indeterminate sentence of 20 years to life in prison on the Murder in the 2nd Degree count and one year in prison, to be served concurrently, on the Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th Degree count.
“Pedro Santos and his accomplice, both gang members, chased an innocent victim down the street and then brutally murdered him with a machete and knife,” DA Singas said. “Victim Yunior Maldonado was senselessly killed just minutes before his 19th birthday and I hope that this sentence will bring his grieving family a small measure of comfort.”
DA Singas said that at approximately 11:20 p.m. on November 14, 2010, Santos, known by the street name “Tiro Loco”, and Yan Cifuentes, 16, of Hempstead, approached 18-year-old Yunior Orlando Maldonado of Westbury as he walked on Thorne Avenue in Hempstead. Santos, who along with Cifuentes is affiliated with the 18th Street gang, asked Maldonado what gang he was in and started chasing him.
After catching up with Maldonado, Santos began swinging a machete at the victim while Cifuentes stabbed him six times with a knife before fleeing the scene.
Maldonado died at 11:58 p.m. at Winthrop Hospital, two minutes before his 19th birthday. Cifuentes pleaded guilty to Murder in the Second Degree in November 2011 and was sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.
Santos was arrested nine days after the incident by members of the Nassau County Police Department.
Assistant District Attorney Lauren Nickerson of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting the case. Santos is represented by Jorge Guttlein and Juan Carlos Guttlein, Esqs.