Wagswoofs – District Attorney Melinda Katz has announced the indictment of Aaron Mayers and Zahir Williams for the murder of Francisco Ortega, a Brooklyn man, in Astoria. They are accused of using his own vehicle in the commission of the crime. The indictment includes charges of second-degree murder, first-degree gang assault, and multiple robbery counts.
An argument broke out between Ortega, Williams, and Mayers on October 20 around 3:30 AM, near 40-06 Astoria Boulevard. The attack was caught on video surveillance, showing Ortega being sucker-punched, beaten unconscious, and then hit by a vehicle.
DA Katz asserts that the case exemplifies a horrific act of violence, highlighting the urgency of removing such dangerous individuals from our communities.
Williams, a 24-year-old individual from the Bronx, and Mayers, a 25-year-old individual from Pennsylvania, are currently facing serious legal ramifications. If found guilty, they could potentially face imprisonment for up to 25 years to life. Additionally, Williams has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon. The court proceedings for both defendants are set to resume on February 27, 2024.
The crime’s detailed description shows a shocking amount of violence: Following the initial attack, Williams ran over Ortega while he was unconscious and dragged his body several feet before hitting a stopped car and skidding off on foot. Ortega was taken to a nearby hospital, but was declared dead there from multiple accidents.
Detective Oliver Kim from the NYPD’s 114th Precinct Detective Squad conducted the investigation, under the supervision of Lieutenant Matthew Barber.