A teenager in the US charged with killing and dismembering his mother and the 50-year-old paedophile accused of influencing him has pleaded not guilty to murder and conspiracy.
Angel Rosa, 15, in jeans and sneakers, appeared briefly in Erie County Court, in Buffalo, New York, calmly answering, “Yes I do, sir,” when asked by the judge whether he understood the proceedings.
“He’s a very intelligent, polite, respectful, young man and I think he’s doing about as well as can be expected,” his court-appointed lawyer, Robert Cutting, said after yesterday’s hearing.
Rosa was arraigned separately from Edwin Gimenez, a convicted paedophile and co-defendant in a grand jury indictment, and court officers made certain the two did not see each other.
Authorities believe Gimenez befriended Rosa’s family so that he could sexually abuse Rosa and a younger boy and that he convinced Rosa to kill his mother so that Gimenez could take the boys to New York City.
Gimenez faces additional kidnapping and sexual abuse charges related to the younger boy. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Judge Michael D’Amico ordered Rosa and Gimenez to be held without bail while giving lawyers 45 days to prepare filings.
In arguing against bail, Assistant District Attorney Christopher Belling told the judge Rosa admitted in a five-page confession to killing and dismembering his mother, Madeline Irene.
Irene’s head and hands were found encased in cement in a dustbin at Gimenez’s home after other body parts were found floating in the Black Rock Channel in late August.
The indictment accuses Rosa and Gimenez of plotting together to kill Irene on August 18. Rosa then mixed drugs into his mother’s food and drink and strangled her, the indictment alleges. Gimenez and Rosa allegedly worked together to dismember and dispose of the body.
“I think anybody that has any knowledge or experience as to how paedophiles work know that they’re canny, they’re savvy, they’re experienced at trying to manipulate people and manipulate situations and I think that, perhaps, that was what was going on here,” Cutting said.
“If that’s the way he wants to position his client that’s his privilege,” responded Gimenez’s lawyer, Joseph Terranova. “I don’t necessarily agree with that scenario. The proof doesn’t seem to point that way yet.”
Terranova said he would seek a separate trial for Gimenez.
Giminez and Rosa could face life in prison if convicted of charges of second-degree murder and conspiracy.
Gimenez was released from prison in 1993 after serving several years for sodomy and sexual abuse of a 9-year-old boy in Suffolk County in 1985. Belling said he recently learned of a 1992 arrest warrant for Gimenez from San Bernardino County, California, but did yet not know the nature of the warrant.