Alexis Amador-Huggins and John Anthony Morales-López Indicted for Attempted Carjacking and Murder
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 16, 2012|
SAN JUAN—Yesterday evening, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment against Alexis Amador-Huggins, aka “Negro,” and John Anthony Morales-López, aka “Jongy,” for their participation in the attempted carjacking and murder of Stefano Steenbakkers-Betancourt, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
The superseding indictment alleges that on or about June 24, 2012, the defendants, aiding and abetting each other, with the intent to cause death and serious bodily harm, attempted to take a motor vehicle, that is, a 2007 Lexus SUV, that had been transported, shipped, and received in interstate commerce, from 17 year-old Steenbakkers-Betancourt, by force, violence, and intimidation, resulting in his death. In addition to the carjacking charge, the defendants were also charged with knowingly possessing, using, and carrying a firearm, that is, a black pistol of unknown model and caliber, in furtherance of and during and in relation to a crime of violence, (attempted carjacking), which resulted in death, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)(iii). Defendants are also charged with causing the death of Steenbakkers with malice aforethought through the use of a firearm in the course of the attempted carjacking, which is murder, and punishable by death, under Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(j).
The superseding indictment also includes a notice of special findings as to the aggravating factors which would make both of the defendants eligible for the capital punishment. The following aggravating factors apply to both Amador Huggins and Morales Lopez: (a) was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense; (b) intentionally participated in an act, contemplating that the life of a person would be taken and intending that lethal force would be used in connection with a person, other than one of the participants in the offense, and Stefano Steenbakkers Betancourt died as a direct result of the act (18 U.S.C. §3591(a)(2)(C)); (c) intentionally and specifically engaged in an act of violence, knowing that the act created a grave risk of death to a person, other than one of the participants in the offense, such that participation in such act constituted a reckless disregard for human life, and Stefano Steenbakkers Betancourt died as a direct result of the act (18 U.S.C. §3591(a)(2)(D)); and (d) committed the offense as consideration for the receipt, and in the expectation of the receipt, of anything of pecuniary value (18 U.S.C. 3592(c)(8)). There are three additional aggravating factors which apply to Morales Lopez: (a) intentionally killed the victim, Stefano Steenbakkers Betancourt (18 U.S.C. § 3591(a)(2)(A)); (b) intentionally inflicted serious bodily injury that resulted in the death of Stefano Steenbakkers Betancourt (18 U.S.C. §3591(a)(2)(B)); and (c) in the commission of the offense, knowingly created a grave risk of death to one or more persons, in addition to the victim of the offense (18 U.S. §3592(c)(5)).
The case is being prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney María Dominguez and Assistant United States Attorney Jacqueline D. Novas. If convicted the defendants could face the death penalty. Criminal indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.