Two Syracuse men to spend next 50 years in prison for Sabine Street murder

Pedro Romero

Two Syracuse men will spend the next fifty years to the rest of their lives in prison, punishment for shooting 21-year-old Andre Rosario-Claudio in front of his family on Sabine Street last June.

30-year-old Efrain Santos and 26-year-old Pedro Romero were sentenced on murder and attempted murder charges Friday morning in Onondaga County Court.

Each will spend 25 years to life in prison for the murder of Rosario-Claudio, and serve an additional 25 years to life for trying to kill Rosario-Claudio's brother, Edgardo.

Prosecutors say Santos, Romero, and a third man, Maximo Alvarez, ambushed 21-year-old Andre and his brother, then 20-year-old Edgardo Rosario-Claudio, in the 100 block Sabine Street last June. Andre passed away at Upstate University Hospital, but Edgardo survived.

"Literally, truly, these defendants murdered Andre in front of his mother, his grandmother, his sisters and brother," said Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew Doran. It was a sunny, Sunday afternoon. Just two houses away, there was a baby shower going on.

Andre's mother, Abigail Ortiz, says justice has been served. She spoke up at the sentencing, saying she hopes these men "never see the light of day," and that the attack left a huge hole in the hearts of all his family members.

After the sentencing, Ortiz and her mother, Andre and Edgardo's grandmother, also spoke to CNYCentral.

"Andre was her first grandson. He was like a real son to her," Ortiz said, translating for her mother, Aurora Tirado. "I miss him every single day, every single night."

"We can never get my son Andre back ever again. Now, a child is going to grow up without a father. [Andre] is not going to see him walk, talk, be able to hold him. Our lives will never be the same ever again," Ortiz said.

In the courtroom, Romero did not speak.

Santos, who prosecutors say planned the killing after he and Andre had an argument earlier that day, spoke through a translator, saying "I know everything is a lie."

The third man, Alvarez, previously admitted his involvement. He pleaded guilty to hurting Edgardo before trial to testify against Santos and Romero.

Alvarez is expected to spend 20 years in prison - he will be sentenced next month.