A Bucks County Department of Corrections officer and a New York City man have been indicted in the brutal murder of a Brooklyn resident, Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Friday.
Aaron Mayers, 25, of Doylestown Township, and Zahir Williams, 24, of New York City, face multiple charges including second-degree murder and gang assault.
The indictment stems from the October killing of 50-year-old Francisco Ortega.
Mayers has been off the job since his arrest earlier this month.
According to the Queens County Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Ortega suffered a severe beating in Astoria before being run over with his own vehicle. Katz described the crime as an act of “cold-blooded brutality.”
Williams and Mayers are accused of participating in a violent attack on Ortega, who initially had a verbal altercation with Williams. The confrontation escalated when Ortega, returning to the scene after driving away, was sucker-punched, beaten unconscious, and eventually run over by Williams using Ortega’s own BMW, authorities said.
The incident involved Williams and Mayers, along with two others, assaulting Ortega, authorities said.
Williams then deliberately drove over the unconscious victim, dragging his body several feet and causing fatal injuries, the district attorney’s office said.
Both defendants face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
New York Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder has scheduled their next court appearance for February 27.
Mayers was arrested without incident at the Bucks County Correctional Facility on Saturday, December 2 while at work following a warrant issued in connection with the murder. The arrest was a joint operation between the U.S. Marshals Service and Doylestown Township police.