Crime, Police/Fire

Two MS-13 gang members receive life sentences in connection with Parkville-area murder

PARKVILLE, MD—Two reported members of the MS-13 gang on Thursday were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in Baltimore County Circuit Court for their part in the murder of a 21-year-old man in the Parkville area of Baltimore County in July of 2019.

Hugo Portillo Chavez, 33, and Jonathan Escobar Hernandez, 21, had been convicted by a jury on Tuesday, June 8th of first-degree, premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

On July 31, 2019, Daniel Alvarado Cuellar was found stabbed to death outside of his home in the 8400-block of Loch Raven Boulevard. A subsequent autopsy disclosed that Alvarado had been stabbed 40 times in the head, neck, and torso.  The subsequent investigation disclosed that the weapons used were a knife and a machete.

As the Baltimore County Police Department began its investigation, detectives learned that the victim had been at a laundromat earlier in the night before his death. Review of surveillance video demonstrated that a large number of individuals were stalking or watching him at the laundromat. Homicide detectives were able to identify one of the cars utilized in the stalking.

Several weeks later, the car was located as it traveled west toward Texas while in Mississippi. The car contained a large number of individuals  who were determined to be involved in the murder of Alvarado.

The police were able to determine that Hugo Portillo Chavez had been mistakenly led to believe that Alvarado was the member of a rival gang to MS-13. Portillo Chavez directed that the victim be killed and had gathered others to assist him in killing the victim. Alvarado was attacked in front of the building where he lived and stabbed by three individuals, including Jonathan Escobar Hernandez.

Judge Robert E. Cahill, Jr. indicated the murder was pointless and “the type of pain inflicted upon another human being is beyond what one can imagine” in imposing the sentences of Life without the possibility of parole.

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger expressed his gratitude to the excellent work of the Baltimore County Police Department in solving this crime.

“Something as horrific as this act to a good, hard-working young man must be and has been addressed. We must continue to be vigilant in assuring that gang violence will not tolerated and must be eliminated” according to Shellenberger. The case was prosecuted by John Magee and John Cox in the Baltimore County States Attorney’s Office.

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