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Relatives of victim in Bragdon Place murder speak as suspect appears in court

WHECTV
Updated: October 14, 2019 09:44 PM
Created: October 14, 2019 11:56 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Friends and relatives poured out grief and anger on Monday as a suspect was arraigned for the stabbing death of a Rochester man.

“I want to kill him,” declared Eddie Oquendo, the brother of the victim. “Thank God they caught him because he would have been dead. Honestly.”

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Black Jewelz, 34, pleaded not guilty in Rochester City Court to charges of 2nd-degree murder and 2nd-degree assault for the death of 24-year-old David Oquendo. 

Oquendo was stabbed Friday night on Bragdon Place and died later at Strong Memorial Hospital. A second man, 28-year-old Neville Brown was also stabbed. He survived and was treated and released.

Jewelz's court appearance brought out a big crowd of his friends and family who watched the proceedings in court. They then gathered outside to share stories about him and chant Oquendo’s music brand “Loud Boys” and “long live David.”

"He was going to be a star. He was a star. He made music,” recalled Oquendo’s girlfriend Relisha Turner who said Oquendo had planned to move to Florida to start a music career.

Jewelz’s mother, Jacqueline Simmons, also went to his arraignment. She said she had gone to the RTS transit center near the scene of the stabbing looking for answers on her own.

“I don’t know about the incident or what occurred,” she explained. “But, from my understanding, from everybody down there, my son be down there every day. He don’t bother nobody. He’s not that type of child. From my understanding, they kept messing with him. So he was defending himself.”

“David Oquendo was standing there,” countered Oquendo’s mother Maria.  “The guy went to stab somebody else and my son went like this and he just stabbed him…. and killed him. He was innocent.”

For those close to the victim, Jewelz’s case also brought outrage over the lengthy criminal background he already had.  With his record, Oquendo’s relatives felt he shouldn’t have been at large. 

“All that charges that boy got, he should never, ever had been walking around here,” said Turner.

Before she ordered him to be held without bond, the judge pointed out the list of violent felony charges in Jewelz’s history.  According to the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Jewelz was released from prison only last year after serving nine years for drug dealing, robbery, and assault, as well as violating probation while he was briefly out on parole. 

“Albany!” exclaimed Oquendo’s father Eddie. “Albany needs to get their act right. Cuomo needs to get his act right. You can’t have people on the street with 30 felonies.”

“Why they waited for him to kill my son to catch him?” echoed Maria Oquendo. “What kind of justice system do we have today? None. None at all.”

Jewelz was ordered held without bail.

He was scheduled to return to court for a hearing on Oct. 17.


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