He had eluded police in Brooklyn for 27 years — but now he’s behind bars.
Luis Carmona, 48, is facing murder and weapons possession charges for allegedly gunning down Jose Rafael Laro in East New York during an apparent dispute in August 1993.
Carmona, who was 20 at the time, allegedly shot Laro, aged 48, on Aug. 17, 1993 during an argument at a building near the corner of Pitkin and Warwick Avenues.
Sources familiar with the investigation said that the two men had gotten into a dispute over access to the location, which police believed at the time had been involved in drug activity. The site was about a block away from a public school, P.S. 158.
Law enforcement sources said that Carmona had fled to the Dominican Republic not long after the murder. A Brooklyn grand jury had indicted him for the slaying in 1994, and the case had remained open ever since.
But recently, members of the NYPD Cold Case Squad — the special unit which handles long-unsolved investigations — were able to track down Carmona’s location in the Dominican Republic, with help from the local government there as well as the FBI.
Following his arrest in the Caribbean nation, Carmona was extradited back to New York and finally appeared before a Kings County Criminal Court judge on Feb. 9 to answer for Laro’s death.
At his arraignment that day, according to court records, Carmona entered a “not guilty” plea to the 27-year-old murder indictment against him. Criminal Court Judge Vincent Del Giudice ordered him held without bail, and to return to court on April 29 for a follow-up hearing.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea took to Twitter on Feb. 10 to publicly applaud detectives for cracking the case after nearly three decades.
“Your @NYPDDetectives never stop seeking justice for victims,” Shea said, referring to the NYPD Detective Bureau, offering particular gratitude to the Cold Case Squad for their “perseverance” in apprehending Carmona.
Your @NYPDDetectives never stop seeking justice for victims.
Thanks to the perseverance of our Cold Case Squad: Nearly 3 decades after an #ENY homicide, the suspect was arrested & charged with murder yesterday, after being extradited from the Dominican Republic back to Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/PbsRXxrRux
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) February 10, 2021