Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, joined by Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York Peter C. Fitzhugh, announced today that Allan Lopez, Jose Sarmiento, Anander Henriquez and Rigel Yohairo have been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on murder charges and other crimes for the beating death of Nazareth Claure, 31, on April 11, 2021. The victim’s remains were found in the trunk of a car during a traffic stop by police on April 14, 2021.
District Attorney Katz said, “This was a cruel, ruthless killing. As alleged, the defendants attacked the victim and beat her to death with a machete and a bat. A young boy is now without his mother and a community is grieving. The accused are in custody and will face justice in our legal system.”
Special Agent in Charge Fitzhugh said “This brutal act of violence against an innocent woman is yet another reminder of the depraved indifference to human life that continues the be the calling card of various street gangs in NY. HSI and our law enforcement partners refuse to let these mobs’ ruthlessness intimidate our communities and we remain steadfast in our mission to eliminate the threat they pose to public safety.”
Lopez, 22, Sarmiento, 21, Yohairo, 20, and Henriquez, 28, all of Far Rockaway, were arraigned yesterday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise on a seven-count indictment charging them with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Lopez, Sarmiento and Yohairo are also charged with concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Henriquez is additionally charged with aggravated criminal contempt. Lopez is also additionally charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Justice Aloise ordered the defendants to return to Court on July 27, 2021. If convicted the four men face up to 25 years-to-life in prison.
According to the charges, on Sunday, April 11, 2021, between 9 and 11 p.m., Lopez, Sarmiento, Henriquez and Yohairo allegedly, acting in concert with one another, attacked Claure, who was struck with a machete and baseball bat.
Katz said Lopez was Claure’s boyfriend.
DA Katz said at 1:40 a.m. on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, defendants Lopez, Sarmiento and Yohairo were all riding in a vehicle when police conducted a traffic stop near the Nassau Expressway at Bayview Avenue and discovered Claure’s remains in the trunk of the vehicle.
A motive for the murder remains under investigation.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Kirk Sendlein, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorneys Joseph Grasso, Bryan Kotowski, Kristin Papadopoulos and Adarna DeFrietas, are prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, John W. Kosinski and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chiefs and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.
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Author: T. Grant Benson
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