From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
Twenty-six year old Alexis Pineda of Suitland, MD, was sentenced to 18 years in prison on March 15 for the 2011 shooting death of 24-year-old Jose Manuel Hernandez-Romero, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. The homicide occurred March 27 at about 2:30 am at El Sauce Restaurant, 1227 11th Street NW.
Pineda shot the victim, who lived in the 1400 block of N Street NW, one time in the chest and he died hours later at a local hospital. Pineda and Hernandez-Romero had not met previously and, according to witnesses, there was no altercation prior to the shooting.
According to court documents, Pineda had been drinking before he came to El Sauce and has a history of mental illness. After the shooting, other customers and employees at El Sauce held down Pineda until police arrived.
Jaime Cruz, 31, who came to the restaurant with Pineda, tried to escape the premises with the suspect and threatened to shoot the patrons holding Pineda down. Cruz was charged with obstruction of justice in the case and was sentenced to three years in prison in October.
Pineda was also sentenced to five years of supervised release, but because of a previous immigration conviction, he will be deported to El Salvador immediately after serving his prison sentence.
According to Homicide Watch D.C., Pineda pleaded guilty to a charge of second degree murder while armed in October 2012 in advance of a scheduled trial as part of a plea agreement. Pineda could have faced a sentence of up to 26 years in prison.
The incident was the one recorded homicide in Borderstan in 2011, although a second homicide occurred just south of Borderstan.