Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lawyer Hints Man Took Fall for Brother

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lawyer Hints Man Took Fall for Brother

Article excerpt

PATERSON - The attorney for murder defendant Edwin Jimenez asked a jury Monday to consider whether his client took the fall for his brother when he admitted to what both sides in the case called a coldblooded execution-style shooting.

But prosecutors said Jimenez's guilt in the double murder trial was clear -- if not by his confession or by a victim's testimony, then by an attempt to destroy evidence by licking gunpowder residue from his hands in a police interrogation room.

"When's the last time you saw somebody do that?" Passaic County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Pringle said in his closing argument Monday. "The second the detective left the room, he surreptitiously put a hood over his head and started sucking his hand."

Jimenez, 23, of Passaic is on trial in Superior Court for allegedly opening fire on a group of men he said picked on him since high school, killing two of them, outside a President Street bodega in 2012. Ishmael Pena, 21, and Stevenson Matos, 20, both of Passaic, were killed, and Danny Velasquez, 18, also of Passaic, was shot in the face but survived.

His attorney, Jose Torres, has said that Jimenez gave a false confession after a harsh interrogation, but Torres suggested in his closing argument that Jimenez's admission was motivated by an unbreakable bond with his brother, Adolfo. The morning after the shooting, police pulled the brothers over as they were leaving a Clifton liquor store and found a revolver underneath Adolfo's car seat.

Jimenez admitted during a police interview to owning the gun only after asking about Adolfo and what consequences his brother faced, the attorney noted.

"Is it believable that someone would sacrifice themselves, their own freedom, because of love for his brother?" Torres asked. "That is for you to decide."

Torres said his client "tells the detective a story" about buying the revolver, before realizing the gun could be linked to a tragic shooting. …

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