Malik Weems pleads guilty to gruesome 2021 murder

Malik Weems (Chemung County Jail)

Malik Weems (Chemung County Jail)

A 19-year-old man from Pennsylvania admitted his role this week in the gruesome torture and murder of a 38-year-old man in New York who was shot, burned, beaten and stabbed in the eye before being killed.

Malik Weems, of Pittsburgh, Pa., appeared in Chemung County Court on Friday, where he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in the 2021 murder of Juan Jose Gotay, WETM reported, subsidiary of Elmira NBC.

In addition to Gotay’s murder, Weems reportedly pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree kidnapping in a separate case in April 2021.

Weems was arrested two years ago and three other people are believed to have been involved in Gotay’s death: Thomas Boviard, Eddie Marte and a boy who authorities say was 16 at the time of the murder.

Authorities have not released his name, but the three remaining defendants have pleaded not guilty to Gotay’s murder charges.

Authorities said Gotay’s injuries before his death were a clear case of torture.

He was shot in the shoulder and leg, pinched in the eyes with a sharp instrument, burnt ears and buttocks, mutilated tongue, kicked and beaten, and had ribs and broken fingers, authorities said. The kidnappers brought him still alive to Potter County, Pennsylvania, where he was found dead and bound by an electrical cord along Highway 6 in April 2021, authorities said. The kidnapping allegedly took place at the end of January 2021.

Weems, Marte and Bovaird were first indicted in New York on charges of first degree murder, first degree kidnapping and first degree assault.

Thomas Bovaird and Eddie Marte (Chemung County Jail)

Thomas Bovaird and Eddie Marte (Chemung County Jail)

Weems and Marte were also charged separately with allegedly kidnapping a man named Joseph Waters in April 2021 and detaining him for 12 hours to extract ransom money during a home invasion.

Marte, 26, pleaded guilty in December in Ontario County to charges of burglary, theft, kidnapping, felony possession of a controlled substance and multiple weapons in connection with the crime involving Joseph Waters .

Ontario County Judge Brian Dennis sentenced him in February to 15 years in prison, according to a report by the Finger Lake Times. He is serving his sentence at Attica Correctional Facility in Wyoming County, New York.

Weems is due in court again on July 14 for his sentencing hearing. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.

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