2 Held In Minimart Slaying In N. Phila.

Posted: September 06, 2012

TWO MEN accused of shooting an employee of a North Philly market during a robbery and killing a Good Samaritan who tried to intervene were held for trial Wednesday on murder charges.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Lipscomb said that phone records and store surveillance video appeared to link Edward Freidland, 26, and Angel Nieves, 18, to the March heist, which turned deadly for a customer who chased after them.

Municipal Judge David Shuter agreed with the prosecutor, and after a preliminary hearing that lasted nearly five hours, ordered both defendants to stand trial for the mayhem that unfolded at the La Familia Latina Mini Market, on Glenwood Avenue near 5th Street.

Nieves, who allegedly gunned down customer Rafael Del Valle a block from the store, was held on murder, robbery, conspiracy and related charges.

Freidland, who is accused of shooting store employee Antonio Monegro, 40, during the robbery, was held for second-degree murder in Del Valle's death, attempted murder in Monegro's shooting, conspiracy and related charges.

Attorney David Rudenstein argued that his client, Freidland, should have been held only on the charges related to the robbery in the store but not for the fatal shooting of Del Valle, 26.

"My client didn't shoot and kill anyone, and he did not conspire with anyone who did," Rudenstein said.

Though Freidland - who allegedly shot Monegro in the side during the robbery and was himself shot in the lower body - gave police a statement in the hospital, Rudenstein said he would test its "voluntariness" given his client's physical condition.

Nieves' attorney, Jack McMahon, said that video from inside the market did not show his client participating in the robbery and that no witness had identified him as the person seen in video from another store.

"It is clear from the video that this was a one-person robbery," McMahon told Shuter.

Surveillance video from inside and just outside the minimarket clearly captured Nieves entering the store while talking on a cellphone, making a purchase, leaving and coming back inside.

"He's obviously casing the place for the robber," prosecutor Lipscomb told Shuter.

A man believed to be Freidland is seen entering the store wearing a mask and waving a gun. A struggle between the robber and Monegro ensues and they fall to the floor, the video shows.

The robber is seen losing his gun, getting up and fleeing. During the mayhem, someone kicks the robber's gun and Nieves picks it up, the video shows.

The injured Monegro is seen handing the store's gun to Del Valle, who races after the robber. Nieves, with the robber's gun in his hand, jumps on a bicycle in front of the store and peddles out of camera view. Del Valle was shot moments later.

Contact Mensah M. Dean at deanm@phillynews.com or 215-568-8278. Follow him on Twitter @MensahDean.

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