Oquendo found guilty in 2015 Troy murder of Noel Alkaramla

November 17, 2017 05:16 PM

TROY -- Johnny Oquendo, 40, simply closed his eyes and bowed his head after hearing that he was guilty of murder. The other two counts soon followed, guilty of concealing a human corpse and guilty of strangulation. Just a few feet away, the victim's mother Debra Napoli-Oquendo, was unable to hold back tears.

"I'll never hold my child. I'll never be a grandmother. There's no time that can fill the empty space that he's left me in my heart," she said.


Oquendo was on trial for killing his stepdaughter Noel Alkaramla, stuffing her body into a suitcase and dumping it into the Hudson River back in November of 2015. Her body was found in December of that same year.

The three-week trial at times had some surprising moments. Amanda Whitman, a key prosecution witness, was accused of engaging in sexual behavior with animals, having psychic abilities and being able to talk with the dead. It was an effort by the defense to discredit her testimony. But the jury wasn't swayed. It took them less than three hours to reach a verdict.

"Obviously disappointed. It's been a difficult trial, an emotional subject matter," said defense attorney William Roberts.

Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove said he tried Oquendo 20 years ago for an armed robbery. He was sent to prison then for 25 years.

"Obviously he was released early on parole. Unfortunately this is what happened," Abelove said.

What happened he said was the gruesome murder of Alkaramla. Now Abelove and Napoli-Oquendo are hoping he'll never see the light of day again.

"And yesterday was that monster's birthday. Happy birthday to the satan. This is justice for Noel," Nopoli-Oquendo said.

Oquendo faces 25 years to life in prison when he's sentenced on December 21.


WNYT Staff

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