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Dead Woman's Torture Was Video Recorded, Court Papers Say

Two Berks County brothers have been charged with killing Jennifer Velez-Negron, whose burned body was found dumped in Salisbury Township, near Emmaus, on Dec. 27. The brothers also are charged with killing 2 others.

Two Berks County brothers are charged with kidnapping, torturing and killing 26-year-old Jennifer Velez-Negron, whose burned body was found dumped in Salisbury Township not far from the Emmaus border two days after Christmas.

Michael Allen Wilkins, 39, and Maurice Adrian Wilkins, 32, of Fleetwood, are charged with killing Velez-Negron, who was said to have been a witness to the shooting deaths of a Palmer Township man and another man in Reading on Dec 4.

According to a release from the Berks County District Attorney's office, Velez-Negron also was said to have been involved in a drug transaction that led to the murders of the two men.

Her burned body was found Dec. 27 near Unami Fish and Game Club off Chestnut Hill Road in Salisbury Township. 

A witness in the three cases told of being shown a video by Maurice Wilkins, recorded on a cellphone, in which a gagged Velez-Negron was being tortured, according to the arrest affidavits.

The Wilkins brothers also are charged with the Dec. 4 killings of Dario McLemore, 22, of Palmer Township, and another man, Rafael Alequin, in the 1100 block of Franklin Street, Reading. 

The Wilkins brothers face three counts of murder of the first degree, three counts of murder of the third degree, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, possessing instruments of a crime and persons not to possess or transfer firearms.

Salisbury police had discovered Velez-Negron's body after a passing motorist reported a small fire on the side of Chestnut Hill Road the morning of Dec. 27. An autopsy revealed Velez-Negron died from suffocation and was set on fire.

According to the Wilkinses' arrest affidavits, Maurice Wilkins had a cellphone video recording that showed Velez-Negron gagged and bound to a chair with duct tape, forced to ingest heroin and physically tortured. Michael Wilkins is observed telling her this is the last time she is going to "set someone up." 

Maurice Wilkins told a witness that Velez-Negron was then taken from a home to Lehigh County, doused with gasoline and set on fire on the side of the road, according to the affidavits.

Velez-Negron's legs had been bound with a wire material, and a cloth had been inserted into her mouth and secured with what appeared to be duct tape.

Also according to the affidavits:

—Maurice Wilkins told a witness that McLemore and Alequin had ripped off his brother by giving him fake cocaine in exchange for $700. He said he had shot one of the men.

—The witness was present at a conversation at which Maurice Wilkins again said he killed one of the men on Dec. 4, Michael Wilkins said he killed the other, and a third man said he had driven Maurice from the Reading shooting scene and had provided Maurice with a gun used in the shootings.

—The witness said Velez-Negron had been killed because she had witnessed the Dec. 4 killings over a drug deal and the Wilkins brothers suspected she had set up the drug transaction gone wrong.

—Michael Wilkins had told the witness he also had participated in Velez-Negron's killing.

—Michael Wilkins has multiple felony drug convictions, which means he is not allowed to possess firearms.

Valez-Negron, 26, formerly of Reading, reportedly had been living with a friend in Salisbury. Her  prompting investigators to seek the public's help identifying her. They issued a description, including the detail that  she bore a tattoo on the right side of her neck that said "Javi."

Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams and Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin held a press conference Tuesday in the case.

Check back with Patch for updates

 

Anti-statist April 14, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Associating with those that have little to look forward to and little to lose, is risky business. Stealing from those same people can lead to disastrous outcomes. That said, assigning particular likleihoods to any group per se, is short sighted and not accurate. Additionally, it is hurtful and shortsighted. I've encountered many whites that are brutal and sociopathic. Evil knows no bounds.
Deborah Morales April 14, 2013 at 03:44 PM
These animals should be exterminated ASAP. Sickening.
tm April 14, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Eeewww, u people are sick to make statements about race rather than comment on the tragedy that drugs created...white men are more likely to be serial killers than black men but, if this had anything to do with a white person, you wouldn't make any comments about race...shallow-minded, uneducated people have no business putting their 2 cents in
John Smith April 15, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Only a few systematic accounts of the race and ethnicity of serial killers exist. There is an exhaustive study of African American serial killers (Homicide Studies 2005; 9; 271) by criminologist Anthony Walsh, and also Eric W. Hickey’s book, Serial killers and their victims, Brooks/Cole, 1997. Walsh identified 90 African American and 323 white American serial murderers, all men operating between 1945 and 2004. (Though Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans were not included in the study, their addition would not alter the fact that most serial killers are white men.) African American serial killers made up 22% of Walsh’s sample, a figure in close agreement Hickey’s enumeration. But, as blacks number well below 22% of the U.S. population, they are actually overrepresented among the ranks of serial killers — roughly by a factor of 2. How ya like them apples?
John Smith April 15, 2013 at 02:01 PM
In pretty much every criminal category you can name, blacks lead the pack. Since they make up approx. 13%-14% of the population, that tells us that they are more likely to commit crime than Whites. Look it up. FBI Uniform Crime Reports. It's not fashionable, but it is true.

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