A gang leader who hacked two teenage girls to death with a machete could face execution.
Jairo Saenz, of the notorious American criminal gang MS-13, has been charged in connection to seven brutal murders.
The 24-year-old, whose nickname is "Funny", was second in command of the New York crew, known as the Brentwood Sailors.
Donald Trump's Justice Department has now authorised federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty if he is convicted of any of the killings.
Michael Johnson, Oscar Acosta, Kayla Cuevas, Nisa Mickens, Javier Castillo, Dewann Stacks and Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla are all believed to have died at the hands of MS-13.
Daily Star's newsletter brings you the biggest and best stories – sign up today
Nisa, 15, and Kayla, 16, were best friends who were beaten with baseball bats before being hacked to death with machetes in a particularly sadistic slaying on September 13, 2016.
Saenz was arrested and charged with the girls' murder in March 2017.
The following year he was charged with additional crimes, including his involvement in the death of Oscar Acosta, who was tied up and beaten with tree branches before being slashed to death with a machete.
His mutilated body was discovered in a wooded area four months later.
Saenz was also allegedly involved in the murders of Javier Castillo and Dewann Stacks, who were both killed with machetes in October 2016.
While in jail he has allegedly attacked other inmates and corrections officers as well as attempted to identify cooperating witnesses, court papers have revealed.
Prosecutors have also announced they intend to seek the death penalty for Saenz' brother Alexi, a fellow member of MS-13 whom President Donald Trump has called a "bloodthirsty leader".
The Mara Salvatrucha gang was founded in Los Angeles in the 1970s as a means of protecting immigrants from El Salvador.
It has become known for its brutality and high body count, with the mutilated corpses of victims often buried in shallow graves.
Source: Read Full Article