Suspect Convicted for Jackson Heights Bodega Killing Gets 25 to Life in Prison

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FILE PHOTO: A gavel and a block is pictured at the George Glazer Gallery antique store in this illustration picture taken in Manhattan, New York City

NEW YORK, NY – 32-year-old Fabian DeJesus-Garcia has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after being convicted at trial of killing a man in a bodega in Jackson Heights in 2018. A second defendant, Gamaliel Desiderio-Sanchez, also 32, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

According to Court records, on March 22, 2018, the two defendants went to the 5 de Mayo Deli on Roosevelt Avenue around 8 p.m. Desiderio-Sanchez handed DeJesus-Garcia a .32 caliber pistol upon arriving at the bodega.  When Seferino Flores-Pineda arrived at 5 de Mayo, Desiderio-Sanchez engaged him in conversation. As the two talked, defendant DeJesus-Garcia approached the 31-year-old victim from behind and shot him three times. Mr. Flores-Pineda was shot in the face and chest.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said, “This was an execution in a busy commercial area with the defendants ambushing the victim. While one distracted the target, the other walked up from behind and shot him without provocation. My Office will not stand for brazen acts of violence on the streets of Queens.”

According to court documents, DeJesus-Garcia, of Northern Boulevard in Corona, Queens, was found guilty of murder in the second degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and unlawful possession of pistol ammunition following a trial in March 2022. Queens Supreme Court Justice Michelle Johnson, who presided at trial, sentenced this defendant Friday to 25 years-to-life in prison.

Desiderio-Sanchez, of St. Ann’s Avenue in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Justice Johnson, also in March 2022. Friday, Justice Johnson ordered Desiderio-Sanchez to serve 18 years in prison, to be followed by five years’ post release supervision.

The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died from the injuries.