Defendant Arraigned on Perjury Charges Related to Shooting Outside
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, that Eric Rivera, Age 30, of Middletown, was arraigned before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown on an indictment charging him with the felony of Perjury in the First Degree, as well as Perjury in the Third Degree. The charges were in connection with the grand jury investigation into the shooting of a man outside of a Town of Wallkill restaurant on April 14, 2021. Hector Luna, Jr., 27, of Wallkill was indicted by an Orange County Grand Jury on charges of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the First Degree and Criminal Possession Weapon in the Second Degree. Rivera’s perjury charges stem from having testified falsely during that grand jury presentation.
It is alleged that Luna shot a man outside of the You You Asian Restaurant and Bar, located at 465 Route 211, in the Town of Wallkill on April 14, 2021, at approximately 9:15 PM. The victim of the shooting had been dining in the restaurant just prior to the shooting. Emergency medical personnel and the Town of Wallkill Police Department responded to the location. The injured man was transported to the hospital for treatment. During the investigation into the incident it was discovered that Rivera had been in the restaurant with Luna and had witnessed the shooting.
Luna was taken into custody at the Hampton Inn hotel located in Pike County, Pennsylvania, and waived extradition to face the charges in New York. The Town of Wallkill Police Department were assisted in the investigation by the New York State Police, the City of Middletown Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Town of Woodbury Police Department, the FBI Safe Streets Taskforce, the Port Jervis Police Department, the Hudson Valley Crime Analysis Center, the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pike County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Luna remains in the Orange County Jail in lieu of bail which was set in the amount of $250,000.00 cash, or $500,000.00 secured bond, or $1,000.000.00 unsecured bond. A virtual court appearance for Luna is next scheduled to occur on June 16, 2021.
Luna faces 25 years in prison on the charge of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree.
Rivera is next scheduled to appear in court on July 20, 2021 and faces up to two and two-thirds to seven years in state prison.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked all the state, local and federal law enforcement officials, from New York and Pennsylvania who aided in the investigation and eventual apprehension of Luna.
Orange County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigators arrested Rivera.
“Perjury is a crime that strikes directly at the integrity of our criminal justice system,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “Feigning being unable to remember an incident that a witness would prefer not to testify about can constitute perjury if the finder of fact is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the witness is swearing falsely. It is regrettable that witnesses must sometimes be called to testify in cases that they would prefer not to be involved in, but this is how our system is designed and testimony from witnesses, even reluctant ones, is necessary to keep the public safe. My Office will continue to do all in our power to protect witnesses, including asking the Court for Orders of Protection when appropriate, but witnesses who have sworn to tell the truth, are obligated to do exactly that.”
The cases against Luna and Rivera are being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Kelle Grimmer.
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.