Second suspect charged in 16-year-old girl’s death during vape sale in Montbello

Jenni Cortez, 19, left, and Aaliyah “Tati” Granados Cortez, 16, celebrate a cousin’s Sweet 16 birthday in November in this family photo. (Photo courtesy of Wendy Cortez)

A second teenage suspect was charged as an adult this week in the 2023 killing of a 16-year-old girl during what investigators believe was a robbery gone wrong in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood.

Marvin Perdomo-Cil, 18, was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder, aggravated robbery and related charges in Denver District Court. His bond was set at $500,000 during a court hearing Thursday.

Perdomo-Cil is the second suspect charged in the death of 16-year-old Aaliyah Granados-Cortez, who was fatally shot Jan. 11, 2023, near Falcon Park at 5400 Atchison Way.

Brandon Sandoval, 18, was charged with first-degree murder in Aaliyah’s killing last year. Investigators now believe Perdomo-Cil and Sandoval together plotted to rob Aaliyah and her sister when the two teenagers arrived at the park to sell the pair some vape pen cartridges.

In an interview with police three weeks ago, Sandoval said he and Perdomo-Cil planned to use a gun that Perdomo-Cil had to rob the sisters. The plan was for Perdomo-Cil to walk up to the sisters’ car and point the gun at them, take the vape cartridges and leave. Both men were 17 at the time.

But when the sisters arrived at the park, Perdomo-Cil “began to panic” and insisted that Sandoval carry out the robbery, Sandoval claimed, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by The Denver Post on Thursday.

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Sandoval then took the gun and approached the sisters’ car. He put the gun to the head of Aaliyah’s sister, Jennifer Granados Cortez, then 19, who was driving. She told police she threw the cartridges out the window and tried to drive away.

The car was on ice and lost traction. As it pulled away, Sandoval grabbed the car door and hung on. Aaliyah tried to hit Sandoval to make him let go, and during that struggle, Sandoval shot her, according to the affidavit. Aaliyah was shot once in the side and did not survive.

Sandoval told investigators he “argued a little bit” with Perdomo-Cil after the shooting, and that they then parted ways and did not speak again.

Sandoval is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 8. Perdomo-Cil’s next court appearance is March 7.

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