ONLY ON CVP: A judge in Hackensack yesterday reduced the bail to $750,000 from $2 million for one of four purported gang members charged in connection with the cold-blooded killing of a Fairview card game operator during a holdup.
Defense attorney Diane D’Alessandro successfully argued that Blonson Florestal faces the least serious charges — and didn’t deserve such high bail.
Authorities said Florestal, who turns 20 years old next month, was the lookout and drove the getaway car after 50-year-old Jeronimo Lopez was gunned down in his apartment the night of May 3.
Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi ordered that the bail be paid in full in cash or property, with no option to post only 10%.
If Forrestal makes bail, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer said she will seek a hearing to determine the source.
The accused ringleader in the robbery and murder, Keyshawn Malone, had his $2 million bail reduced last month to $1 million cash.
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Prosecutors said the defendants were all armed with guns when they stormed Lopez’s Walker Street apartment, put nearly a dozen people on the floor and took $1,800 in cash and valuables.
Lopez was taken into the kitchen and shot in the stomach during the holdup by 20-year-old Evens Dumas of Irvington, they said. Lopez died later in surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Dumas — who may have been in the country illegally — was carrying two guns, a .380-caliber and a .25-caliber, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said. He remained held on $2 million bail.
Jose Rivas, an MS-13 gang member from West New York, got wind of the game and contacted three associates from Irvington who belong to the Bloods gang subset Sex Money Murder, the the prosecutor said.
Rivas, a 25-year-old ex-con, then drove the group there Saturday night in a Jeep Cherokee, he said.
Rivas went inside with Dumas and Malone, leaving Florestal in the car, the prosecutor said. The trio then pistol-whipped a man standing outside smoking a cigarette and shoved him into the apartment, he said.
Malone had robbed illegal card games before, Molinelli said.
Several Fairview officers and detectives from his office worked the case, canvassing the neighborhood and assembling valuable information, the prosecutor said. Arrests were made soon after.
STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
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