Teen Accused of Killing 12-Year-Old from Upstate Could get Death
Teen accused of killing 4 might get the death penalty
A 16-year-old boy who is accused of killing at least 3 people and wanted in connection to a 4th homicide in Upstate NY was apprehended recently, and the prosecuting DA told authorities she would seek the death penalty for the minor.
Triple homicide in Lebanon, Pennsylvania
According to reports, 16-year-old James Fernandez-Reyes, and Alex Torres-Santos, 22, have been charged with criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, aggravated assault, and carrying a firearm without a license after the deaths of 8-year-old Jesus Perez-Salome, 9-year-old Sebastian Perez-Salome, and 19-year-old Joshua Lugo-Perez on May 31st in Lebanon PA.
James-Fernandez-Reyez linked to Upstate NY homicide
According to a report from Fox 43 News, police in Rochester said Fernandez-Reyes is also a person of interest in the murder of 12-year-old Juan Lopez in Rochester last November.
It's being reported that the 16-year-old threatened to kill the 12-year-old from Rochester before he carried out his actions and Juan’s uncle says that there are text messages from Fernandez-Reyes saying that he "was going to shoot Juan in the chest and the face."
“We’ve been telling the investigators who it was,” Juan's uncle told reporters.
“We’ve got proof of everything. We’ve got messages. Live videos of him saying it. We have voicemails of him saying in Spanish, ‘I killed the little 12-year-old named Juano Lopez and the only reason I’m in Pennsylvania is because of that.'”
Capital Punishment in Pennsylvania
Capital punishment is a legal punishment in Pennsylvania. Despite remaining a legal penalty, there have been no executions in Pennsylvania since 1999, and only three since 1976.
The death penalty has been forbidden for offenders younger than age 18 since 2005 when the United States Supreme Court decided Roper v. Simmons.
Despite that, Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf announced she would seek the death penalty for Torres-Santo, according to Lebtown.com.
"At the time of his arrest in Pennsylvania, Fernandez-Reyes had an active warrant issued from Monroe County related to an arrest within the City of Rochester in September of 2022, where he was given an appearance ticket for being in possession of a loaded Kel-Tec .380 caliber handgun." Fox 43 News
Amber Alert in 2021
While it's unclear what the motives were, both the Lebanon and Rochester communities are reeling from the violence that took the lives of young children.
But what turned James Fernandez-Reyes into an alleged killer?
While little has been shared publicly in regard to motive, Fernandez-Reyes has a history associated with violent and aggressive behavior.
Back in November of 2021, Reyes, 14 at the time, was abducted by 4-5 men from the Rochester area, and an Amber Alert was issued.
Reyes was believed to be in grave danger, possibly kidnapped by gang members.
The Amber Alert worked, and Reyes was reported safe the next day by the New York State Police.
Anyone with information regarding the murder of Juan Lopez is encouraged to call the Major Crimes Unit at (585) 428-7157.
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