Riverhead, NY - January 30, 2014 - The second suspect in the December home invasion in Eastport that resulted in the shooting death of one man and the wounding of another surrendered today at the Riverhead criminal courthouse and pleaded not guilty this afternoon to charges of murder in the second degree and assault in the first degree, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Matthew D. Rooney, 22, 18 Memorial Blvd., East Moriches, was the gunman with defendant Paul Batterson Jr. who stormed into a home at 142 East Moriches Blvd. at 3:24 a.m. on December 8 and demanded cash from the tenants, believed to number as many as seven men who work as landscapers.
Francisco Pirir-Canel, 45, died when Batterson, 22, of East Moriches, allegedly shot him in the face with a shotgun. The murder weapon was recovered during the execution of a search warrant of Battersons’ parents’ home, DA Spota said.
The second shooting victim, Cipriano Pirir-Patzan, age unknown, was shot in the hand while trying to hold a door closed as the masked pair broke into the house.
Batterson pleaded not guilty to murder and assault charges this morning before Judge Richard Ambro, who remanded both men to the Suffolk County jail without bail. Batterson will return to court February 28, Rooney on March 6.