By Phil Spadanuta
A Nassau County jury convicted on Tuesday a Hempstead gang member of murdering a teenager in a case of mistaken identity at a Westbury nightclub last year.
Dwayne Dailey, 23, was on trial for murdering 17-year-old Edwin Mejia Alvarado as he sat in a car with three friends behind La Boom, inside Don Juan Mexican Restaurant on Old Country Road, when he mistook Alvarado for a rival gangster. Three others were seriously wounded in the shooting.
Dailey was convicted of second-degree murder, three counts of second-degree attempted murder, three counts of first-degree assault and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon. He faces up to life in prison at his Aug. 11 sentencing.
Alvarado and three friends left the club at about 11 p.m. on Feb.17, 2008, following a prior altercation involving club patrons and two members of the MS-13 street gang that resulted in the gang members being kicked out. During the altercation, word spread of the incident to individuals outside of the club, including Dailey. Alvarado and his friends are not gang members.
Dailey, a member of the Bloods gang, and another man, Olban Gonzales, 20, of Roosevelt, arrived at the club in response to telephone calls from friends describing the earlier altercation. After mistaking Alvarado and his friends for the MS-13 members that had been kicked out of the club, the two shooters followed the victims to their car before eventually opening fire on them, killing Alvarado and injuring the three others. They have since recovered, but all are permanently disabled. Gonzales, a member of the 18th Street gang, is awaiting trial on identical charges.
“This was not just murder, this was a cold-blooded execution,” Rice said in a statement following the conviction. “Mr. Dailey’s crimes demand the maximum prison sentence. This man should never see the light of day again.”