A Berks County jury on Wednesday convicted a Reading woman of first-degree murder and related charges for fatally shooting her boyfriend during an argument near City Park.
Danishka Otero-Velez, 27, was found guilty of the Nov. 5, 2018, killing of Ranciel Natera, 30, outside his apartment house in the 1200 block of Hill Road.
Judge Paul M. Yatron tentatively scheduled her sentencing for Friday, and she remains in custody.
In addition to the first-degree murder conviction, the jury found Otero-Velez guilty of third-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of intimidation of witnesses and two counts of terroristic threats. She was found not guilty of one count of terroristic threats.
Otero-Velez, who lived in the 200 block of Mulberry Street, fled to Florida following the shooting but was extradited and held for trial without bail.
Investigators and court documents gave this account:
Otero-Velez killed Natera after finding out that he had cheated on her and fathered a child with another woman.
Investigators said that immediately after pulling out a gun and shooting Natera while they argued, Otero-Velez followed two witnesses into an apartment, pointed the gun at them and told them not to say anything to police.
When police arrived, they found Natera on his back with a fatal gunshot wound to his chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
One witness said she saw Otero-Velez pull a handgun from her waistband and shoot him from about a car’s length away. She said Natera had not been approaching Otero-Velez when she fired.
Otero-Velez told another person at the scene that she’d killed Natera and needed help getting rid of her gun and moving his body.
She ordered both witnesses at gunpoint: “Do not tell them (police) I’m his girlfriend. Do not say I’m from here. Do not say nothing.”
She texted a third witness to come to the scene, where she admitted to him that she’d killed Natera with her own gun.
Otero-Velez gave a false name to police and was escorted from the building along with others before vanishing.
By the time police filed charges, she was nowhere to be found.
She was taken into custody several weeks later in December 2018 in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood by the U.S. Marshals Service on a warrant from Reading police.
Marshals staked out a relative’s home in that neighborhood and took Otero-Velez into custody as she headed to a nail salon.
Source: Berkshire mont