Cell­phone lands al­leged shooter with tougher charge

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - FRONT PAGE - BY AMANDA CHRISTMAN STAFF WRITER

Hazleton po­lice filed a new, more se­ri­ous charge against a city man they say shot his girl­friend in Au­gust — at­tempted homi­cide.

New ev­i­dence un­cov­ered by de­tec­tives led to the felony be­ing added to the list of charges against Roberto Al­varez-Mar­quez, 30, of East Maple Street.

Po­lice al­lege he ex­pressed a de­sire to kill the woman a week be­fore the shoot­ing. Of­fi­cers said they also found the shoot­ing vic­tim, 19-yearold Destiny Dav­ila, was saved as a con­tact in his cell­phone un­der the phrase “Destino A Morir,” which trans­lates to “Destiny must die,” ac­cord­ing to court records.

Po­lice orig­i­nally charged Al­varez-Mar­quez, 30, with a first de­gree felony for ag­gra­vated as­sault, a se­cond de­gree felony for peo­ple not to pos­sess a firearm and mis­de­meanors for sim­ple as­sault and reck­less en­dan­ger­ment when they ar­rested him Aug. 19, but on Wed­nes­day they with­drew that case at Cen­tral Court in Wilkes-Barre, re­plac­ing it with a new one that adds a first-de­gree felony count of crim­i­nal at­tempt at crim­i­nal homi­cide to the orig­i­nal charges.

His bail re­mains the same — $300,000, which he has been un­able to post since his ar­rest nearly four months ago. He re­mains in jail.

De­tec­tive David Rod­ick and De­tec­tive Lt. William Gal­lagher filed the new case against him, which also re­veals more about the med­i­cal treat­ment Dav­ila un­der­went.

She was shot in the stom­ach and brought to Le­high Val­ley Hospi­tal-Hazleton and then flown to a re­gional trauma cen­ter. The in­juries were “ex­tremely life-threat­en­ing” and she was ad­mit­ted to an ad­vanced trauma care fa­cil­ity where she re­mained for al­most two months, un­til her re­lease on Oct. 11. Dav­ila had 19 sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures as a re­sult of the shoot­ing in the area of West Fifth Street and Wil­bur Court, the al­ley be­tween Grant and Lin­coln streets, po­lice said.

A wit­ness and Dav­ila iden­ti­fied Al­varez-Mar­quez, also known as “Bori,” as the shooter. He was up­set be­cause his girl went out with friends that night, ar­rest papers state. Dav­ila and he were ar­gu­ing

through­out the evening via text mes­sages, and when Dav­ila was dropped off at the end of the night, she ar­gued with Al­varez-Mar­quez on Wil­bur Court and he fired from a .22 semi-au­to­matic hand­gun, hit­ting her once, ac­cord­ing to ar­rest papers.

Hazleton pa­trol of­fi­cers learned of the shoot­ing af­ter re­spond­ing to the hospi­tal around 2:30 a.m. for a gun­shot vic­tim and con­tacted the on-call de­tec­tive.

To­gether, the de­tec­tive and pa­trol mem­bers con­ducted in­ter­views and in­ves­ti­gated while the hospi­tal was placed on lock­down.

Al­varez-Mar­quez, who was de­tained by po­lice in the hospi­tal, also spoke to an of­fi­cer, stat­ing he was hold­ing a .22 semi-au­to­matic hand­gun in his hand when it dis­charged, po­lice wrote.

He dropped the gun and helped Dav­ila to a ve­hi­cle and she was driven to the hospi­tal by an­other woman, with him in­side the car.

Po­lice said an­other wit­ness stepped for­ward Sept. 10, stat­ing a week be­fore the shoot­ing she got a late-night call from Al­varez-Mar­quez in which he told her he was go­ing to kill Dav­ila be­cause he felt she was un­faith­ful to him. The wit­ness tried for about 20 min­utes to calm him down so he wouldn’t hurt Dav­ila, but when Al­varez-Mar­quez asked to come over to the wit­nesses’ house, she de­clined and he hung up on her, court records state.

The Penn­syl­va­nia State Po­lice North­east Com­puter Crime Lab pro­cessed sev­eral cell­phones owned by Al­varez-Mar­quez, find­ing the phrase “Destino A Morir” on two of them un­der Dav­ila’s con­tact in­for­ma­tion. The phrase was fol­lowed by emo­jis of a sy­ringe, two pill cap­sules and two hand­guns.

Al­varez-Mar­quez awaits a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing sched­uled for Dec. 19 at 9:30 a.m. in Cen­tral Court.

ALVAREZMARQUEZ

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