U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of New York
(718) 254-7000
October 3, 2014

Shooter Sentenced to 43 Years for 1997 Livery Cab Homicide

Elvin Hill was sentenced today to 43 years in prison at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. In January 2014, following a jury trial, Hill was convicted of murdering Fredy Cuenca, a livery cab driver, during the course of a robbery on June 29, 1997, in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office. The sentence was imposed by United States District Court Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto.

“Almost 20 years ago, in a crime both senseless and brutal, Hill murdered an innocent man on a public street in broad daylight,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Now, thanks to the dogged efforts of federal investigators, he has been brought to justice for this brutal crime.”

On the afternoon of June 29, 1997, Hill and another individual were passengers in a livery cab driven by Cuenca. After directing Cuenca to park near a schoolyard on Eldert Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Hill bickered with Cuenca over the fare. Hill then drew a .380 caliber pistol that had been concealed on his person, and pointed it at Cuenca’s head. Cuenca, who spoke only broken English, pleaded for his life, pointing at a photo of his two young sons that he kept on the dashboard of his vehicle. Despite his pleas, Hill shot Cuenca in the head, and both he and his companion fled the scene. Cuenca’s brother-in-law, who was also a cab driver, found Cuenca bleeding in his cab a few minutes later and took him to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Although investigators identified the suspects shortly after the crime, there was insufficient evidence to charge them in 1997. Years later, a federal investigator who had previously been assigned to the case as a New York City Police Department detective obtained additional evidence. In March 2012, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Hill.

Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the FBI and to the New York City Police Department for their assistance in this prosecution.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel Silver and Seth DuCharme.

The Defendants:

  • ELVIN HILL
  • Age: 35

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 12 CR 214

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