By Mark Abrams and Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– Philadelphia police today announced pending charges in the murder of a witness to a fatal shooting last week outside the North Philadelphia mini-market where she worked.
Police say 17-year-old Shawn Poindexter and 20-year-old Raymond Soto are charged with murder and related offenses in the fatal shooting of 33-year-old Rosemary Fernandez-Rivera, also known as Reyna Aguirre Alonso, inside the Caribe Mini Market, on Mutter Street near Westmoreland, on January 23rd (see related story).
Nineteen-year-old Eliana Vazquez, also of North Philadelphia, is charged with conspiracy and related offenses, but police aren’t saying what connection she has to the woman’s murder.
Despite Poindexter’s age, he will be charged as an adult.
Investigators say the trio were taken into custody on Monday night.
Authorities allege the victim was gunned down by Poindexter inside the market because she witnessed the November 25th murder of Louis Chevere outside the market.
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Police in the Bronx arrested 23-year-old Jorge Aldea last Friday night on a murder warrant issued by Philadelphia police in connection with the Chevere murder (see related story). Aldea, who is being called the mastermind of the grocery store shooting, is also charged in connection to the murder of Reyna Aguirre Alonso.
Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Nutter is criticizing court authorities for agreeing to a bail reduction for Aldea on a gun charge early in January despite his history of offenses involving shootings and gun violations.
Homicide detectives issued a warrant for Aldea’s arrest in the November murder hours after he was released.
Investigators theorize that Poindexter shot the woman inside the market to prevent her from testifying in the November murder. Police won’t comment on reports that Soto and Aldea were close associates.