A North Carolina man was convicted of murdering a 40-year-old man in Hempstead outside of his home.
On January 12, 2021, Ruben Diego Avila Huicab, 33, and a co-defendant drove in separate cars to where Ricardo Cardona, 40, lived, at the intersection of Dakota Place and Vermont Avenue in Hempstead, at approximately 8:33 p.m. The two had been involved in an ongoing dispute over payment for construction work that Cardona had done and work tools that he had not returned. Avila Huicab provided the then-16-year-old defendant with a TEC-9 semi-automatic pistol and told him to wait in his van while Avila Huicab convinced Cardona to come outside towards the vehicle. Once Cardona approached the van, the teenage defendant fired seven times, striking Cardona five times in his neck and chest. Avila Huicab and the co-defendant fled the scene, and Cardona was pronounced dead within minutes. Avila Huicab and the co-defendant were found and arrested in Maryland by local authorities nine days later on January 21, 2021.
Avila Huicab is charged with second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was convicted by a jury before Judge Meryl Berkowitz and is due back in court for sentencing on August 22, 2023, where he faces a potential life sentence in prison.
“This defendant orchestrated the murder of Ricardo Cardona, repeatedly threatening to kill the victim over the course of two weeks, even texting Ricardo on the day of his murder to ‘say your goodbyes to everyone,’” said Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly. “Ricardo held onto the defendant’s tools to ensure he received pay that he was owed, and he was senselessly murdered for it. I thank the jury for their service and for finding the defendant responsible for committing this heinous crime.”