FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 14, 2018
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
MS-13 GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR 2016 ASHBURN MURDER
BONILLA TO SERVE 43 YEARS
LEESBURG, Virginia – June 11, 2018. Jordy Jose Bonilla, 18, appeared before the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, in custody, for sentencing on one count of first degree murder, one count of aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of malicious wounding by mob, two counts of gang participation, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of shoot, stab, or wounding another in the commission of a felony. Judge Benjamin N. A. Kendrick imposed an active sentence of 43 years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
On November 4, 2016, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Ashburn Meadows Apartment Complex for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, deputies located a male victim with multiple injuries. The victim appeared to be bleeding from his neck, hand and leg. During transport to the hospital the victim advised that he had been attacked in the woods behind the apartment complex, near the river. Upon receiving this information, sheriff’s deputies began to search the nearby wooded area behind the apartment complex. Deputies located another male victim, Guillermo Piedra-Espinoza, with stab wounds to his back. This victim was unresponsive and pronounced deceased at the scene. The first male victim was interviewed by law enforcement at the hospital. The victim was able to identify the individual that stabbed him as Jordy Jose Bonilla. The victim then advised that Bonilla and two other Hispanic males, later identified as Jose Otoniel Chicas Guevara and Oscar Fabricio Lopez Nieto, had assaulted him and his friend.
Two days later, the surviving victim was interviewed again by law enforcement. During this interview, the victim was able to provide a timeline and details of the attack. The victim stated he received a text from Bonilla on the afternoon of the November 4th inviting him and Piedra-Espinoza to Bonilla’s apartment complex to party with some females. The two victims agreed and accompanied Bonilla to a wooded area near the apartment complex. Bonilla then left the woods to get the females and when he returned he was carrying a large knife and was accompanied by two Hispanic males. Bonilla advised the victim that he had recently joined MS-13 and had been given a mission to kill someone. A short time later, Bonilla engaged in a physical altercation with the victim. While Bonilla was attacking the first victim, Chicas Guevara and Lopez Nieto began attacking Piedra-Espinoza with knives.
On November 9, 2016, Bonilla was located and taken into custody in Hempstead, New York. During an interview with law enforcement Bonilla explained that he had targeted Piedra-Espinoza because he was a known member of the 18th Street Gang. MS-13 and 18th Street are considered to be rival street gangs. Bonilla went on to confess to the events that occurred on November 4, 2016, resulting in the death of Piedra-Espinoza and the substantial injuries to the other victim.
Bonilla pleaded guilty to the charges on December 21, 2017.
At the sentencing hearing, the surviving victim described the events as “severe mental trauma.” “I can’t have a normal life. I don’t trust people. I can’t go out on the street without thinking someone will hurt me,” he said.
Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Angela Vernail who prosecuted the case, along with Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Meredith Burke, implored the Court to impose a lengthy sentence. Vernail described Bonilla as a “defendant who was exposed to MS-13 in El Salvador and was able to get away from it, but then chose to seek it out and to bring it back to his home.” “[Bonilla] selected a friend, an acquaintance. [Bonilla] knew what he was doing, it was planned, it was deliberate,” said Vernail.
Bonilla received an additional 25 years of suspended time. Upon his release, he will be placed on supervised probation for 25 years. Bonilla was further ordered to pay $14,000 in restitution.
Jose Otoniel Chicas Guevara, 18, pleaded guilty to one count of first degree murder, one count of aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of malicious wounding by mob, two counts of gang participation, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of shoot, stab, or wounding another in the commission of a felony on May 9, 2018. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Loudoun County Circuit Court on August 15, 2018 and faces up to life in prison.
Oscar Fabricio Lopez Nieto, 17, pleaded guilty to one count of first degree murder, one count of aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of malicious wounding by mob, two counts of gang participation, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of shoot, stab, or wounding another in the commission of a felony on April 5, 2018. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Loudoun County Circuit Court on August 13, 2018 and faces up to life in prison.
All three defendants were under 18 at the time of the offense. The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney elected to try all three juveniles as adults.