Leniz Escobar Wiki
Leniz Escobar Biography
Who is Leniz Escobar ?
A Long Island woman has been convicted of luring four youths to their deaths by more than 12 members of the MS-13 street gang.
The young woman known as “La Diablita,” the little devil, was found guilty on all counts Monday morning in Central Islip.
The jury – made up of 7 men and 5 women – deliberated for less than four hours. They began deliberations last Thursday and informed the judge at the end of the day that they believed they had a verdict, but wanted to sleep through the weekend. No deliberations were held on Friday.
The jury met Monday at 9:31 a.m. m. and at 9:47 a.m. m. they sent a note to the judge saying they had a verdict.
“I would say we’re disappointed,” said Jessie Siegel, Escobar’s attorney. “But we appreciate the time and effort invested by the jury.”
Leniz Escobar showed no emotion when the jury read the verdict. She looked at the table and the judge.
“She took the verdict as well as a person could think, you know, she understands the dire consequences for her,” Siegel said.
Members of Escobar’s family were in court Monday and thanked the jury and Escobar’s attorneys for their hard work.
Members of the victims’ families were not in court.
During the trial, prosecutors said Escobar helped orchestrate the 2017 massacre when he was a teenage gang associate before falsely claiming he was an ambush victim.
Escobar was convicted of racketeering, including predicate acts of murder, conspiracy to murder rival gang members, and obstruction of justice; and murder in aid of organized crime in the four deaths prosecutors described as “a horrific frenzy of violence” involving machetes, knives and tree limbs in a Central Islip park.
“With today’s verdict, Escobar has been held accountable for the crucial role he willingly played in orchestrating one of the district’s most senseless and cruel mass murders in living memory,” said US Attorney Breon Peace. “The defendant showed utter disregard for human life by taking victims to a death camp, to her slaughter, to improve their stature with her fellow cold-blooded killers within the MS-13 gang. I hope that the conviction of Escobar bring some measure of closure to the families of the victims and serve as a warning to other gang members that this Office, along with our law enforcement partners, will not rest until all those responsible for these murders are held accountable and MS-13 no longer poses a danger to our district.”
“As proven at trial, Ms. Escobar played a crucial role in a heinous and senseless crime, the 2017 murders of four young men MS-13 believed to be members of a rival gang. After the murders, she continued to demonstrate her cruelty. her contempt for human life as she bragged about her role in the murders to enhance her stature within the gang. While nothing can bring the victims back, we hope that today’s verdict can bring some comfort to their families, knowing that justice has been served. ”, declared the deputy director in charge of the FBI, Michael J. Driscoll.
“Today’s verdict sends a clear message that those who associate with a gang will be held accountable for their involvement in gang activity,” said SCPD Commissioner Rodney Harrison. “Escobar displayed a total disregard for human life and put his loyalty to the gang above the rule of law. I applaud everyone involved from the Suffolk County Police Department, the FBI and our partners in law enforcement for their hard work and dedication to justice.”
MS-13 had been trying to settle scores, prosecutors said, and believed the young victims, Justin Llivicura, Michael Lopez, Jorge Tigre and Jefferson Villalobos, were members of the rival 18th Street gang. The families of the victims denied that any of those killed belonged to a gang.
Prosecutors said Escobar, who was 17 at the time, was seeking to curry favor with MS-13 and tipped off MS-13 members to the location of the victims in a wooded area in Central Islip. Under MS-13 rules, the killings had been “pre-authorized” by gang leaders, prosecutors said, and contributors to the carnage could gain membership or rise through the ranks of the organization.
Authorities said Escobar then threw his cellphone from a moving vehicle, as well as a SIM card that had been removed and damaged in such a way that police were unable to recover its contents.
One of the first witnesses, who was 15 at the time, testified last month that Escobar was responsible for choosing the spot in the woods and showing the children how to get there.
He said they were there smoking marijuana when a group of seven to nine men came through a fence deep in the woods with machetes and hoodies covering their faces.
He said the group of five children were told to kneel down and not move or they would all be killed.
The witness stated that he got up from his knees, jumped over a fallen tree and then over a fence to escape.
After crossing the fence, he said there were two men waiting there who chased him, but he was able to escape.
The boy then went to the police and moved from Long Island to another state a few days later.
During the trial, prosecutors released a phone call he had with his boyfriend the day after the murders from inside the jail, mentioning someone who “missed the boat.” That was probably the only man who was able to flee and survive this brutal attack.
In that recorded line, Escobar tells her boyfriend that she and Gomez had been practicing all morning, rehearsing her story for the police.
Escobar’s attorney says she made these comments to her boyfriend because she was afraid of the MS-13 gang and wanted to pretend he was cool with it all.
The defense argued that Escobar did not know the children would be killed that night and that she did not even know the men responsible. However, the jury sided with the prosecution in this case.
MS-13, also known as La Mara Salvatrucha, recruits youth from El Salvador and Honduras, although many gang members were born in the US.
The gang has been blamed for dozens of murders since January 2016 across a wide swath of Long Island.
Siegel said they are considering filing an appeal, while also focusing on preparing for sentencing and trying to convince the judge not to sentence Escobar to life in prison. Siegel said that Escobar has had a difficult life and that he should not be defined by one bad thing he did.
The verdict followed a four-week trial before United States Circuit Judge Joseph F. Bianco. When he is sentenced on September 14, Escobar faces life in prison.