Schuylkill River Murders: Man convicted in 2014 of kidnapping plot that led to murder of 2 brothers
PHILADELPHIA CREAM — A New York man has been convicted of a kidnapping plot that resulted in the deaths of two brothers whose tied up bodies were found in the Schuylkill River eight years ago.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Jason Rivera, 36, shook his head as the foreman of a federal court jury that deliberated for more than six hours announced guilty verdicts on Tuesday for conspiracy, kidnapping and extortion.
“This is crazy,” Rivera mumbled as his lawyer motioned for him to be quiet as the judge dismissed the court following the verdict, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison, a reported the Inquirer.
The Queens resident was one of six men charged in what authorities described as a conspiracy that led to the August 2014 deaths of Vu “Kevin” Huynh, 31, and his brother Viet, 28, for a $300,000 drug debt.
Authorities said the brothers were kidnapped and tortured before being taken to the Schuylkill River, stabbed repeatedly, their faces covered in duct tape and their legs weighted with cement before being thrown into the water. A third man was able to flee and hail a passing motorist.
Defense attorney Thomas Mirigliano argued that his client had been wrongly accused and noted that no cellphone records linked him to the area on the night of the crime. He objected to prosecutors pointing to a tattoo on his forearm of a line from the 1990 film “Goodfellas” as evidence of his client’s role as a drug gang enforcer and debt collector.
Last year, Lam Trieu pleaded guilty to extortion, drug and conspiracy charges, admitting to contacting a longtime associate to collect a debt owed to a Californian marijuana supplier over drugs. presented to the brothers. He was not charged with kidnapping or murder.
Tam Minh Le, 52, from Vietnam, was sentenced to death in this case. Two other men are awaiting sentencing on federal charges in the case.
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