Bronx DA: Bronx Gang Member Sentenced To 4 ½ To 13 ½ Years in Prison for Fatal Fourth of July Stabbing


Jury Found Defendant Guilty of Manslaughter


Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx man has been sentenced to 4 ½ to 13 ½ years in prison for fatally stabbing a teenager in Claremont Park on July 4, 2016.


District Attorney Clark said, “The defendant stabbed the victim in the heart after a brawl in Claremont Park. He then fled to Dominican Republic and was arrested a month later when he returned to New York. The victim of this senseless violence was only 17 years old.”


District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Hector Hernandez, 24, of the Bronx, was sentenced today by Bronx Supreme Court Justice James McCarty to 4 ½ to 13 ½ years in prison. A jury found the defendant guilty of second-degree Manslaughter on March 29, 2016.


According to the investigation, in the early morning of July 4, 2016, Hernandez, who was second-in-command of the Trinitarios “Sunset” set at the time, was with a large group of his gang members in Claremont Park at Belmont Street and Clay Avenue.  While at the park a dispute began between the group members. The victim, Esmeldyn Pena, 17, punched another gang member, who was a close friend of the defendant. Hernandez then stabbed Pena in the heart with a knife, causing his death.


The defendant fled to New Jersey, then flew to the Dominican Republic with his girlfriend. Thinking things had calmed down, he flew back to New York City on August 2, 2016 and was arrested upon his arrival at John F. Kennedy Airport.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Burim Namani of the Homicide Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Kellyanne Holohan, of Trial Bureau 70, under the supervision of Christine Scaccia, Chief of the Homicide Bureau, and the overall supervision of James Brennan, Deputy Chief of the Trial Division, and Theresa Gottlieb, Chief of the Trial Division.


District Attorney Clark thanked Ana Pimentel of the Crime Victims Assistance Unit. District Attorney Clark also thanked NYPD Detective Javier Hernandez of the 44th Precinct and Investigator Scott Frank of DOC Correction Intelligence for their assistance in the investigation.

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