A Queens man and reputed street gang member accused of executing a rival in a drive-by shooting back in August 2019 could potentially face the death penalty if convicted on federal charges filed against him Thursday.
Christopher (a.k.a. Essay) Acevedo, 26, of Jamaica faces a murder in aid of racketeering charges for allegedly gunning down David Hutchinson in front of a bodega on Springfield Boulevard in Springfield Gardens, Queens on the afternoon of Aug. 26, 2019.
If convicted, Acevedo could face up to life in prison without parole — but the charge of murder in aid of racketeering is also a death penalty-eligible charge, according to federal prosecutors.
Federal prosecutors said that Acevedo, a member of the Wood City street gang based in Jamaica, fired nearly a dozen shots at Hutchinson, a reputed member of the SNOW gang, in retaliation for a chain-snatching involving a Wood City member and local rap artist (his identity was not provided).
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Acevedo had been recently locked up on Rikers Island on unrelated criminal charges, and had made bail early Thursday morning. However, Acevedo was denied his release based on these new federal charges.
Federal prosecutors said that the deadly drive-by happened about three hours after a SNOW member snatched the chain from the Wood City member at recording studio in Hillside. Later, on social media, SNOW members had posted videos and photos of the stolen chain, bragging about the thievery.
Law enforcement sources said that triggered Wood City members, and Acevedo sprung into action. He allegedly got into a white BMW sedan and drove to the Garden’s Deli, at 140-14 Springfield Blvd., at about 3:40 p.m. on Aug. 26, 2019.
At that moment, Hutchinson sat inside a white Dodge Charger waiting for a colleague to return from the store. Prosecutors said that Acevedo allegedly rolled up the BMW right next to the Dodge Charger and began firing.
Authorities said Acevedo allegedly fired at least 11 shots at Hutchinson, striking him three times in the torso, before speeding away from the scene.
Officers from the 113th Precinct and EMS units responded to the shooting. Paramedics rushed Hutchinson to Jamaica Hospital, where he died a short time later.
Detectives allegedly linked Acevedo to the shooting through street camera footage near the crime scene and on 119th Avenue, near Acevedo’s home, in South Jamaica — where he was recorded entering a white BMW sedan, identical to the vehicle involved in the hit, about 20 minutes before it occurred.
The FBI has also been actively investigating the Wood City gang, and obtained further information through a cooperating witness and a confidential source within the group and the Bloods street gang.
Acevedo is no stranger to trouble, law enforcement sources said. He spent nearly five years incarcerated, between May 2013 and February 2018, for a third-degree grand larceny charge to which he pleaded guilty in Queens.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Acevedo was ordered held without bail in federal custody during his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on March 18.