Charges dropped for man accused in double homicide
Judge allows DA to seek new indictment against alleged ringleader
TROY, N. Y. » A judge has thrown out all charges against the man who police say orchestrated the murder of two men nearly a year ago.
State Supreme Court Judge Andrew Ceresia on Wednesday also dismissed several charges against two of the three other men accused in the grisly crimes.
Ceresia decided the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office had insufficient evidence to charge Cresencio Salazar in the deaths of cousins Cristian Hernandez and Javier Gomez of Troy. In his ruling, Ceresia said the case against Salazar was based largely on the statements of the other three suspects after they were arrested, but that prosecutors did not sufficiently corroborate the statements of alleged co- conspirators.
Ceresia did, however, give permission to DA Joel Abelove to present the case to a grand jury for consideration of new charges. Abelove declined comment on the case Thursday through his spokesman, Jonathan Desso.
Ceresia also dismissed a firstdegree murder charge against Luis A. Monge- Guevara and first- and second- degree murder counts against Magdaleno Perez- Calixto. They, as well as Salazar and Salomon Najera-Hernandez, were each initially charged with first- degree murder, four counts of second- degree murder, second- degree kidnapping, two counts of fourth- degree conspiracy, and first- and second- degree burglary. Salazar, Monge- Guevera and Perez- Calixto were also indicted on charges of concealing a corpse.
Gomez, 23, was found beaten and stabbed to death Oct. 17, 2016, inside the East Glen Avenue apartment he shared with his cousin and another person. The body of Hernandez, 24, was discovered a day later by a person walking their dog along a tributary of the Quacken Kill near the intersection of Blue Factory Hill and South roads in Cropseyville.
The three reportedly claimed Salazar killed both men in attempts to steal money and drugs and that they had driven Salazar to New York City, where he planned to catch a f light to Mexico while the other three continued by car to Texas. Monge- Guevara, 20, of Clifton Park, Perez- Calixto, 28, of Latham, and Najera- Hernandez, 21, of Mexico, were arrested Oct. 20 in Virginia, while Salazar, 26, was nabbed in New York City a few days later.
Investigators have said all four suspects, as well as the two victims, are believed to be illegal immigrants from Mexico.
Accused in the October 2016deaths of Javier Gomez and Cristian Hernandez are, clockwise from top left, Cresencio Salazar, Luis A. Monge- Guevara, Salomon NajeraHernandez and Magdalono PerezCalixto.