A Westbury man was sentenced to 21 years to life in prison, after stalking and then shooting a Uniondale man multiple times.
Joel Arquimides Ayala Deras, 35, pleaded guilty on Nov. 21, 2016, in front of Acting Supreme Court Justice Jerald Carter to second-degree murder.
According to the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, on Jan. 26 at approximately 9:45 p.m., Deras 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 Deras over a woman.
During the investigation, Deras 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.
“This calculating defendant stalked his victim for several months, waiting for the right opportunity to take his life,” said Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, who recommended the maximum sentence of 25 years to life. “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.”
While driving by the house on Jan. 26, Deras spotted Melendez digging a parking spot for his car in the snow. He then drove a block away from where he saw the victim and tried to load a .44 caliber gun that jammed. He then loaded a shotgun, drove to Melendez and shot him twice—in the bicep and the back with the shotgun while sitting inside his tan Toyota Corolla. Deras then drove away from the scene and returned a short time later and shot Melendez two additional times in the back of the head.
Police apprehended Deras five to 10 minutes after the incident, 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.