While families of 15-year-old Nisa Mickens and 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas sat in the courtroom, MS-13 gang members, who allegedly ruthlessly murdered them, laughed and smiled.
Cuevas and Mickens were beaten with baseball bats and hacked to death with machetes in Brentwood on Long Island, and 10 illegal immigrant members of the gang have been indicted for their murders.
The New York Post reported Tuesday, as prosecutors said they were waiting to hear from the Justice Department if they could seek the death penalty, the defendants — Enrique Portillo and brothers Alexi Saenz and Jairo Saenz — smiled and laughed among themselves.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reportedly not decided if the death penalty will be an option, but Elizabeth Alvarado, Mickens' mother, hopes it is.
“God help me, but I do because they didn't have any empathy for my daughter. They just took her just like that,” she told Newsday. “They were the judge and they were the jury.”
The New York Post reported fellow MS-13 members Mario Aguilar-Lopez and Jose Suarez, who are charged with a separate murder and the injuring of a bystander on the same indictment, were also in the courtroom.
Aguilar-Lopez and Suarez do not face the death penalty, and Judge Joseph Bianco agreed to oversee a separate trial, although the defendants' lawyers have yet to file the appropriate motion.
The parents of the two girls were among President Donald Trump's guests at the State of the Union address.