The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against a member of MS-13 that is accused of being the ring leader in the killings of two teenage boys in Virginia.
Elmer Zelaya Martinez aka 'Killer' could face execution for the slayings of a suspected rival gang member Edvin Escobar Mendez (E.E.E.M.), 17, and Sergio Arita Triminio (S.A.A.T), 14, who reported that killing 2016 to his family.
As a prosecutor pushed for the sentence the Trump admin announced it was bringing back last July, a defense lawyer claimed Monday that the president was looking to 'gain with his base by appearing to be tough on illegal immigrants'.
Martinez, 27, is one of 12 people accused from the Fairfax County gang but a Monday court filing noted his 'substantial planning and premeditation' and 'lack of remorse for his violent acts'.
Elmer Zelaya Martinez aka 'Killer' could face execution according to a Monday court filing noting his 'substantial planning and premeditation' and 'lack of remorse for his violent acts' in 2016. It's after the Trump admin announced it was bringing back the death penalty last July
Edvin Escobar Mendez (E.E.E.M.), 17, was killed in a Virginia park in 2016 and Sergio Arita Triminio (S.A.A.T), 14, who reported that killing 2016 to his family was murdered after that
Elmer Zelaya Martinez, Erick Palacios Ruiz aka Cara de Malo, 20; Ronald Herrera Contreras, aka Speedy, 20; Josue Vigil Mejia, aka Horror, 21; Henry Zelaya Martinez, aka Certero, 24; Oscar Contreras Aguilar, aka Atrevido, 20; Yonathan Melgar Martinez, aka Oso, 21; Anderson Villatoro, aka Enterrado, 21; Francisco Avila Avalos, aka Picador, 20; Fredys Baires Abarca, aka Lil Clandestino, 20 and Oscar Contreras Aguilar, aka Atrevido, 20, are the defendants.
They are charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder in aid of racketeering activity, conspiracy to kidnap, murder in aid of racketeering activity, and kidnapping resulting in death.
The men were all illegal immigrants except for one, who had a green card.
A defense attorney for Elmer Zelaya Martinez noted his client had not been alleged to have delivered the deadly blows that killed the teens as he claimed Donald Trump's government was eager to appear tough on immigrants.
'I strongly suspect politics is playing a significant role rather than whether or not this is the appropriate thing to do to serve justice,' defense attorney Robert Jenkins said, according to the Washington Post.
'Whether or not they truly believe that justice would be served by seeking the death penalty I think is maybe a secondary concern versus what political chips they can gain with his base by appearing to be tough on illegal immigrants.'
Trump has lauded Immigration and Custom Enforcement for arresting MS-13 gang members.
To drum up support for the border wall, increased border security and other immigration policies, Trump often