Durham, NC – Johnny Danilo Villatoro, 35, was shot and left for dead during a carjacking shortly before 7 pm on Friday. Allegedly he was approached by three youths who asked for a ride. Although he did not know the teens, he gave them a ride, and was shot and carjacked shortly thereafter. Police found him lying in the street. Villatoro died at the hospital. He was married and a father of three.
Carjacking is the crime of attempting or completing the act of taking another individual’s motor vehicle against their will and with the intent of temporarily or permanently depriving them of their property. Carjacking is done in the presence of the motor vehicle owner through the means of force and or fear. All fifty states and the federal government have carjacking laws. The federal government passed an armed carjacking law in 1992. In 1992, Congress passed a law making it a federal crime to use a weapon to steal a motor vehicle. Death that results from a carjacking is a considered a capital crime under federal law.
Therefore, those involved in this case may all be charged with felony murder, regardless of who may have shot and killed Villatoro. Felony murder is when a person is killed during the commission of a felony, even if they had not intended the death, charging all involved in the crime.
North Carolina’s Felony Murder Law § 14-17 is defined: A murder, both first and second degree, perpetrated by means of poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or which shall be committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of any arson, rape or a sex offense, robbery, kidnapping, burglary, or other felony committed or attempted with the use of a deadly weapon shall be deemed to be murder in the first degree, a Class A felony. Any person who commits such murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment in the State’s prison for life without parole. Any such person who was under 17 years of age at the time of the murder shall be punished with imprisonment in the State’s prison for life without parole.
NBC News shares that Durham Police have charged 16-year-old Justino Navarette Maya, and two younger girls aged 12 and 14, with murder. Investigators note that the 12-year-old suspect had accidentally shot herself in the stomach and leg, while in the victim’s SUV. Her injuries are not considered life-threatening. Officers found her not long after the carjacking. The vehicle was discovered behind an apartment complex nearby.
Relatives are expressing outrage over the crime, bewildered how these kids were able to get their hands on a firearm.
Twelve is certainly a shocking age for such a crime, but earlier this year Detroit police were looking for a 10-year-old suspect in connection to a carjacking, along with his 16-year-old accomplice.
[Photo Credit: NBC17]