Convict Edison Burgos-Montes Sentenced To Life In Prison For The Murder Of A Witness
SAN JUAN, PR – On October 2, 2013, Edison Burgos-Montes was sentenced to life in prison following his conviction of two capital murder counts, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez announced today.
On August 29, 2012, Burgos-Montes, 43, was convicted after a five month trial in U.S. District Court in San Juan of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, one count of conspiracy to import cocaine, one count of murdering a witness to prevent testimony in an official proceeding, and one count of murdering a witness in retaliation for providing information to law enforcement.
The counts of conviction on capital murder charges necessitated a separate penalty phase of the trial. That phase of the trial began on September 10, 2012, and concluded after a week and a half of testimony on September 19, 2012. The jury began its deliberations on September 25, 2012, and concluded them after two and a half days without coming to a unanimous verdict. U.S. District Court Judge Jay García-Gregory presided over the trial. There is no parole in the federal system.
On or about July 4, 2005, Burgos-Montes killed Madelyn Semidey-Morales, a government witness and informant, to prevent her from further informing authorities about the defendant’s unlawful narcotics trafficking and to retaliate against her for providing information relating a law enforcement officer. To this day, her body has not been found. Burgos-Montes was Semidey-Morales’s consensual partner.
The trial was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Julie Mosley and Jeffrey Kahan of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Capital Case Section and Assistant United States Attorney Marcela Mateo of the District of Puerto Rico. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Puerto Rico Police Department, with assistance from the FBI’s San Juan Field Office Evidence Recovery Team.