DA: Another Faces Murder Charge for Deadly Eastport Home Invasion

Matthew D. Rooney
Matthew D. Rooney. Credit: SCDA

Following the January 18 arrest of a first suspect, the Suffolk County district attorney’s office said Thursday that the second man responsible for an armed home invasion in Eastport that left one man dead has been arraigned on a murder charge.

According to the D.A.’s office, on December 8 at 3:24 a.m. Matthew D. Rooney and Paul Batterson Jr. stormed into an East Moriches home and demanded cash from the tenants—as many as seven men. Authorities said Batterson shot a tenant, 45-year-old Francisco Pirir-Canel, in the face, killing him.

A second victim was shot in the hand while trying to hold a door closed as the masked pair broke into the house, the D.A.’s office stated.

District Attorney Thomas Spota said the murder weapon, a shotgun, was found during a search of Battersons’ parents’ home.

Rooney, 22, of East Moriches, surrendered to authorities Thursday morning and was arraigned on charges of murder during the commission of a felony and assault with intent to injure while committing a felony.

A grand jury indicted Batterson, 22, of East Moriches, on one count of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault.

Both men pleaded not guilty before Judge Richard Ambro on Thursday  and were ordered held without bail.

Batterson is due back in court February 28 and Rooney is scheduled to appear on March 6.

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