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Man pleads guilty to MS-13 gang activity surrounding Lynchburg teen's murder

Juan Hernandez pleaded guilty to two felony counts and a misdemeanor

One of the six men facing charges in connection to the death of Lynchburg teen Raymond Wood pleaded guilty to three charges in court today.

Juan Hernandez, 25, pleaded guilty to one felony count of gang participation, one felony count of accessory after the fact to capital murder and one misdemeanor count of accessory after the fact to abduction.

Wood was killed in March 2017; authorities say his death is connected to MS-13 gang activity.

If this case had gone to trial, the jury would have heard that Hernandez was a member of the Sailors Clique and lived in Charlottesville and that he had contact with all co-defendants.

Before Woods was killed, Josue Coreas-Ventura contacted Hernandez to participate in the crime and Hernandez found an excuse not to participate, according to the Bedford County Commonwealth's Attorney.

The prosecution says after Woods died, Maryland MS-13 gang members contacted Hernandez to pick up Christian Sanchez-Gomez and Kevin Soto-Bonilla to help them escape. The two were later found in Charlottesville and New York, according to the Bedford County Commonwealth's Attorney.

In court today, the defense said that, had this gone to trial, evidence would be sufficient.

Hernandez is now the third suspect to be convicted for Wood's death.

There are three men left to go to trial.

Hernandez will be sentenced at a later date. He could face a total of 16 years in prison.


About the Authors:

Magdala Louissaint

Magdala Louissaint is an award-winning journalist who joined WSLS 10 in July 2017 as the Lynchburg bureau reporter.

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