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Machete Murderer Facing 25 to Life After Killing Westbury Teen

DA: Hempstead man’s actions were gang-related

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced on Dec. 13 that a jury convicted Pedro Santos of murder for the stabbing death of a Westbury teenager.

It took a jury less than an hour to convict Santos, 18, of Hempstead, of Murder in the Second Degree and misdemeanor Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison at his Jan. 18 sentencing, the DA added.

Rice said that at approximately 11:20 p.m. on Nov. 14, 2010, Santos 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, said Rice.

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, Rice said, and Maldonado died at 11:58 p.m. at Winthrop Hospital, two minutes before his birthday. Cifuentes pleaded guilty to Murder in the Second Degree in November, said Rice, adding that he faces 15 years to life in prison and is awaiting sentence. The jury rejected the defense’s claims that Cifuentes acted alone.

“This murder is a tragic example of senseless gang violence,” Rice said. “Santos and Cifuentes share the blame for this crime and our community is safer with them behind bars.”

Assistant District Attorney Michael Walsh of the Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting the case for the District Attorney’s Office. Greg Madey, Esq., represents Santos.