Press Releases

Posted on: January 12, 2017

Westbury Man Sentenced to 21 Years to Life for Fatal Shooting of Uniondale Man

Ayala Deras, Joel

Joel Arquimides Ayala Deras pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Westbury man was sentenced yesterday to 21 years to life in prison for the January 2016 murder of a man in Uniondale. The NCDA recommended the maximum sentence of 25 years to life.

Joel Arquimides Ayala Deras, 35, pleaded guilty on November 21, 2016, in front of Acting Supreme Court Justice Jerald Carter to Murder in the 2nd Degree (an A-I felony).

“This calculating defendant stalked his victim for several months, waiting for the right opportunity to take his life,” DA Singas said. “Mr. Melendez was the victim of senseless gun violence and was only 37 years old at the time of his death. I thank our prosecutors and our partners in the police department for bringing the violent defendant to justice.”

DA Singas said that on January 26, 2016, at approximately 9:45 p.m., the defendant fatally shot German Ismael Saravia Melendez, 37, in front of his home on Irving Place in Uniondale. The shooting was the culmination of a dispute between the victim and the defendant over a woman.

During the investigation, the defendant admitted to keeping guns in his car and driving past the victim’s home 30 times over the course of several months, looking for an opportunity to kill the victim.

While driving by the house on January 26, the defendant spotted the victim digging a parking spot for his car in the snow. The defendant then drove a block away from where he saw the victim and tried to load a .44 caliber gun that jammed. Instead of clearing the malfunction, he loaded a shotgun, drove to the victim and shot him twice - in the bicep and the back with the shotgun while sitting inside his vehicle, a tan Toyota Corolla. The defendant then drove away from the scene and returned a short time later and shot him two additional times in the back of the head.

Police apprehended the defendant after observing a vehicle matching the description of the one fleeing the scene. While searching the car, police discovered three guns including a .44 caliber handgun, a shotgun, a .380 caliber handgun and shotgun shells on the passenger seat of the car. The shotgun casings were a ballistics match to the shotgun found in the vehicle the passenger was driving.

Assistant District Attorney Ali Ajamu of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau prosecuted the case. Deras is represented by Karl Seman, Esq.

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