A Suffolk County prosecutor said the two men accused of killing a man and dumping his body in Manorville lured the victim to his death and took photos of him on their cellphones as he lay “on the floor dying.”
Bryan Rosales-Mejia, 21, and Orlen Soliz-Galvez, 18, both of Amityville were arraigned on second-degree murder charges in Suffolk County court Thursday. Justice John Collins set bail at $10 million for both men.
The two are accused of murdering a mutual friend, 36-year-old German Guzman, who also lived in Amityville.
Though Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Creighton said the two confessed to the murder on video, both defendants pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Mr. Soliz-Galvez and Mr. Rosales-Mejia — who is currently on probation, prosecutors said — both face 25 years to life in prison.
At their court appearance Thursday, Ms. Creighton said Mr. Soliz-Galvez and Mr. Rosales-Mejia exchanged text messages planning to kill Mr. Guzman before the alleged killing.
She said the two called and texted Mr. Guzman to lure him to a “cottage” behind Mr. Rosales-Mejia’s Amityville residence.
Once inside the cottage, the two allegedly jumped the victim and punched, kicked and stabbed him to death with a knife and a screwdriver.
Ms. Creighton told the judge the defendants used their cell phones to take pictures and videos of the victim “as he lay on the floor dying.”
“They took pictures of what they were doing,” she said. “They also took video of punching and stomping [the victim].”
She also said the prosecution was able to recover the apparent photos and videos of the murder from their cell phones. Investigators also found pictures of the two wearing clothing that appeared to be covered in blood, she said.
Ms. Creighton declined to comment about a potential motive in the case.
Prosecutors said Mr. Soliz-Galvez and Mr. Rosales-Mejia then put Mr. Guzman’s body into his own car and drove the car to a nearby store’s parking lot, where they left it overnight. The next day, the two drove to the Otis Pike Preserve in Manorville, covered Mr. Guzman’s body in brush and lit it on fire, Ms. Creighton said.
Two days later, police pulled over Mr. Rosales-Mejia driving Mr. Guzman’s car and arrested him. They were then able to connect Mr. Soliz-Galvez to the case, Ms. Creighton said.
Daniel Russo, an attorney who was assigned to Mr. Soliz-Galvez, said after the arraignment he “did not hear any evidence connecting him to this murder.”
Joseph Hanshe, an attorney who was assigned to Mr. Rosales-Mejia, said the two defendants were friends but did not have any relationship with Mr. Guzman.
The two suspects will next appear in court on Dec. 23.