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4 known gang members accused of murder

New York authorities say that four individuals believed to be involved in the MS-13 gang were taken into custody on March 2 for allegedly being involved in the murder of three teenagers. The teenagers were identified as a 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old girl in Brentwood as well as a male who was also believed to be an MS-13 gang member.

The 15-year-old's body was reportedly recovered on Sept. 13. The body of the 16-year-old was found a day later. Authorities stated that older girl had been "marked for death" after she allegedly had feuded with known members of the MS-13 gang. The other deceased teenager was reportedly killed after violating gang rules.

Authorities also charged 13 members of the MS-13 gang for being involved in seven other murders, multiple attempted murders, assaults, arson, drug offenses and obstruction of justice. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 10 of the accused members were in the country illegally, two are legal citizens and the remaining member is a green card holder. All of the defendants could potentially face life in prison if they are convicted on the federal murder charges.

When young individuals are charged with violent crimes, they could face serious consequences. For example, they could face a lengthy prison sentence or even life in prison. A criminal defense attorney may potentially argue that the evidence does not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was involved in the violent crime, especially if the person does not have any history of violence. The attorney may also submit evidence that could prove that the accused person was acting in self-defense, thereby potentially getting the charges to be dismissed.

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