3 Gang Members Plead Guilty in Death of 15-Year-Old Gaithersburg Girl

Testimony points to 17-year-old girl as primary attacker

As three suspects pleaded guilty in the death of a 15-year-old Maryland girl, new details about the brutal slaying were revealed.

Testimony Tuesday pointed to 17-year-old Venus Romero Irahete as the chief attacker of Alexandra Reyes Rivas of Gaithersburg, whose body was found in Fairfax County, Virginia, in February. Investigators portrayed Iraheta as bent on revenge and wanting to inflict some of the fatal wounds herself.

In court Tuesday, the victim’s mother listened for four hours, sometimes in tears, about the attack allegedly carried out by MS-13 gang members.

The FBI special agent who questioned Iraheta after her arrest testified she blamed Alexandra for luring her boyfriend, Christian Sosa Rivas, to his death. The night of Jan. 8, Iraheta and nine other suspects allegedly took Alexandra to an area near Lake Accotink Park, forced her to take off her shirt and shoes and stand in the snow so she'd "feel as much pain as Christian."

Iraheta told investigators she stabbed the girl 13 times and sliced off a tattoo, according to testimony.

"She told the victim she would never forgive her,” FBI Agent Fernando Uribe said. “She would see her in hell. She would never forget her name."

The defense attorney for another suspect, 18-year-old Jose Castillo Rivas, suggested gang members threatened Rivas’ girlfriend and baby. He felt forced to go along with the plan, the lawyer said. He told investigators he'd been greenlighted, meaning he too was targeted for death if he didn't help.

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Three of the suspects pleaded guilty Tuesday. Cindy Blanco Hernandez, 19, pleaded guilty to two counts of abduction by force and the abduction of another juvenile female in early January. Aldair Miranda Carcamo, 18, pleaded guilty to gang participation and two counts of abduction by force. Emerson Fugon Lopez, 17, pleaded guilty to abduction in connection with Alexandra's death and gang participation.

They will be sentenced on May 5.

Five suspects, including Iraheta, are set for trial in the coming months. Two other juvenile females also are charged. One waived her preliminary hearing and will tried as an adult. She was indicted by the grand jury yesterday. The other is being handled in juvenile court.

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