Feds to seek death penalty against 2nd reputed MS-13 gang member in Brentwood murders

CENTRAL ISLIP, Long Island (WABC) -- Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a second reputed MS-13 member charged in the murder of two high school girls on Long Island.

Brentwood High School students Kayle Cuevas and Nisa Mickens were killed four years ago, "butchered with machetes," Attorney General Williams Barr has said.

Jairo Saenz, aka "Funny," 24, is also charged in the murders of Michael Johnson, Oscar Acosta, Javier Castillo, Dewann Stacks and Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla.

Federal prosecutors previously announced they would seek the death penalty against Jairo Saenz's brother, 25-year-old Alexi Saenz, aka "Blasty."

Related: Prosecutors announce MS-13 'rendered inoperable' in Suffolk County

Mickens died the day before her 16th birthday, and prosecutors say she and Cuevas were hunted down and murdered with baseball bats and machetes over a petty dispute between Cuevas and the alleged gang members in September of 2016.
If either of the Saenz brothers are convicted at trial and put to death, it would mark the first federal execution involving a murder in New York since 1954.

RELATED: Brentwood mom says relief 'indescribable' after gang arrests (from 2017)

After the murders, President Donald Trump met with the families of Mickens and Cuevas, inviting them to the State of the Union Address in 2018.

"Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as illegal unaccompanied alien minors and wound up in Kayla and Nisa's high school," President Trump said at the time. "I am calling on congress to finally close the deadly loop-holes that have allowed MS-13 and other criminal gangs to break into our country."
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Candace McCowan has more on what President Trump said to the Long Island mothers.



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