A man in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder for the torture and death of a 38-year-old man in New York. VBlock/Pixabay


  • Malik Weems is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14
  • The teen faces a maximum sentence of life in prison
  • Other suspects in the case have pleaded not guilty to their charges

A 19-year-old from Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder for his role in the gruesome torture and killing of a 38-year-old man in New York.

Malik Weems, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, admitted to his role in the 2021 murder of the victim, Juan Jose Gotay, when the teen appeared in a court in Elmira, New York, Friday, Law&Crime reported.

Gotay was shot, burned, beaten and stabbed in the eyes before being killed, WETM reported.

Authorities said that in addition to being shot in the shoulder and leg and struck in the eyes with a pointed weapon, Gotay suffered burns to his ears and buttocks as well as a mutilated tongue, bruises all over his body, and broken ribs and fingers from being kicked and beaten.

When Weems and three other accused, Thomas Boviard, Eddie Marte and a minor boy police did not name, allegedly brought Gotay to Potter County, Pennsylvania, the victim was still alive.

Authorities said Gotay was found dead along Route 6 in April 2021, local outlet Star Gazette reported. He was found bound by an electrical cord.

Gotay was reportedly kidnapped in January 2021.

Authorities said that Gotay's injuries indicated a clear-cut case of torture. But they did not disclose a possible motive for the kidnapping and gruesome killing.

Weems, Marte and Bovaird were initially indicted in New York two years ago for charges of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree assault.

Marte, Bovaird and the third unnamed defendant have pleaded not guilty to the charges in Gotay's killing.

Aside from Gotay's murder, Weems also pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping in a separate case involving a man named Joseph Waters.

Weems and Marte kidnapped Waters in April 2021 and held him for almost 12 hours to collect ransom money after they invaded his home, WETM reported.

Marte pleaded guilty in December 2022 to charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection to Waters' case.

In February, Ontario County Judge Brian Dennis sentenced Marte to 15 years in prison, reported Finger Lake Times. He is now serving prison time at Attica Correctional Facility in Wyoming County, New York.

Weems is scheduled to appear in court for a sentencing hearing on July 14. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.