New Rochelle man convicted for Bronx murder

A 25-year-old New Rochelle man was found guilty yesterday of murdering one man and trying to murder another in the Bronx four years ago.

A jury took less than three hours to convict Joseph Sanchez of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, as well as three counts of second-degree weapon possession, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s office.

Sanchez was found guilty of fatally shooting Joseph Viera and wounding Bonifacio Soto on April 7, 2007. Prosecutors argued that it was Sanchez who pulled up in front of a Kennedy Fried Chicken restaurant, at 162 East 174th Street and Morris Avenue, got out of his car and pointed a gun at Viera. They said Sanchez attempted to shoot Viera twice but the gun jammed, but Sanchez later shot Viera twice in the chest.

When Soto tried to help Viera, prosecutors argued, Sanchez shot him in the mouth. According to testimony, the fatal shooting may have been the result of a dispute over $30,000 that Viera believed had been stolen from him, according to the Bronx DA’s office.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Ann Donnelly set sentencing for June 2. Sanchez, who lived at 248 Centre Avenue before his arrest, faces up to 50 years to life in prison if given consecutive sentences for each crime. He is being held without bail.