Trial begins for man accused of 2012 Riverhead murder

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Guillermo Alfonso Alvarado-Ajcuc being led by Riverhead police into Town Justice Court Thursday morning for an arraignment.
Alfonso Guillermo Alvarado-Ajcuc being led by Riverhead police into Town Justice Court for his arraignment in 2012. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

As the crime scene video began to play in the Suffolk County courtroom Thursday afternoon, Zully Garcia Mancilla put her hands over her face and buried her head into the padded plastic row of seats in front of her. 

Ms. Mansilla and the rest of the courtroom watched in silence as the video slowly panned across the parking lot of the Riverhead DMV building, wobbling slightly as the operator walked closer to the scene.

Her mother, sitting in the same row, turned away as the camera began to approach the two cars in the parking lot. She got up and left without a word as the video continued on.

The camera peered around the car to reveal the body of Marian Yohana Garcia Mancilla, Zully’s sister, lying face down in the bushes, half-dressed with her short black hair splayed out on the leaves. Zully began to sob quietly, seated a few feet away from the Riverhead man accused of murdering her sister sitting in silence.

“She died horribly, she died horribly,” Glenn Kurtzrock, a Suffolk County assistant district attorney, told the jury during his opening statement.

Mr. Kurtzrock said Ms. Garcia Mancilla had gone to a Riverhead bar to watch a boxing match on May 5, 2012. It was early the next morning when she left the bar, so drunk she could “barely stand up,” he said.

That’s when, prosecutors say, 23-year-old Guillermo Alvarado-Ajcuc wrapped his arm around the drunken Ms. Garcia Mancilla, waved off a security guard at the bar by claiming to be her friend, took her behind the building to a dark corner of the parking lot and attempted to rape her.

When she resisted, Mr. Alvarado-Ajcuc strangled her with his canvas belt.

“He wrapped it around her neck. He tightened it and tightened it and he choked the life out of her,” Mr. Kurtzrock said.