News

Queens Brush Fire Murder Suspect Arraigned

Firefighters battle a brush fire in Queens, apparently set to hide two bodies, on March 6, 2013. (credit: CBS 2)

Firefighters battle a brush fire in Queens, apparently set to hide two bodies, on March 6, 2013. (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Brooklyn man arrested after authorities found the bodies of two men while battling a brush fire last week was arraigned in a Queens court Wednesday.

Rogelio Rodriguez, 34, was arraigned on murder, manslaughter and other charges, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Rodriguez was ordered held without bail. He will be back in court Friday. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

The investigation into the killings is continuing.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown previously said the victims were bound and possibly gagged.

“My guess is they weren’t there very long because the fire was started apparently to cover up the crime,” he told CBS 2 last week.

Police said that the two victims were killed for trying to rob drug dealers.

The NYPD said Tuesday that detectives believe Brooklyn drug dealers shot and stabbed Rudy Superville, 22, and Gary Lopez, 25, after learning the duo planned to rob a dealer’s home.

Police said they believe that Superville entered the home of a drug dealer but was surprised to find his killers waiting. Police said he was then instructed to beckon Lopez into the home.

Their fully clothed bodies were found around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, as firefighters battled a brush fire at 159th Avenue and 78th Street in Howard Beach.

The field of wild weeds is part of Spring Creek Park, the largest amount of undeveloped land and wetlands in the northern Jamaica Bay area with the Belt Parkway on one side and a bustling neighborhood on the other.

Crews found the bodies about ten feet away from the road.

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