On Monday, Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly announced the indictment of two men for their alleged roles in the murder of a 23-year-old North Baldwin man in October 2021 in Baldwin during an apparent drug deal.
Darin Semple, 20, of Freeport, was arraigned on Monday in Nassau County Court, on charges including second-degree murder and first- and second-degree robbery. Semple pleaded not guilty, and is due back in court on May 25.
Devin Obleanis, 21, of Central Islip, had already been arraigned on March 25, on the same charges. He pleaded not guilty, and was due back in court on Wednesday, after the Herald went to press.
If convicted of the murder charge, the defendants would face sentences of 15 years to life in prison.
“The defendants allegedly lured Rafael Delossantos to Baldwin under the guise of buying marijuana, but instead, the meet-up was an ambush that left him dead,” Donnelly said. “The scourge of gun violence continues to plague our county and take lives. We will continue to work together with our partners at the [Nassau County Police Department] to get these dangerous weapons off our streets and out of the hands of criminals.”
According to the indictment, on Oct. 25 at approximately 1:51 p.m., Semple, Obleanis and another suspect, who is still at large, met up with Delossantos on Victoria Street in Baldwin. Obleanis had allegedly text-messaged Delossantos and agreed to meet him to buy marijuana.
Semple, Obleanis and the third suspect pulled up behind Delossantos’s vehicle in their car, got out and held him at gunpoint, the indictment states. The three men then allegedly stole marijuana from Delossantos and shot him twice before fleeing.
According to Nassau County Police detectives, after the attackers fled, officers responded to a call reporting an auto accident on Victoria Street involving injury, and found Delossantos lying on the sidewalk with an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Semple and Obleanis were arrested on Dec. 10 on the Meadowbrook Parkway, in North Merrick, by detectives from the NCPD’s Homicide Squad and the Bureau of Special Operations. The investigation into the unapprehended suspect is continuing.
Neither Semple’s attorney, Damien Brown, nor Obleanis’s attorney, Lloyd Nadel, returned calls seeking comment.
Delossantos would have turned 24 on Nov. 30.
His parents, Juan and Claudia Delossantos, immigrated to North Baldwin in 1989 from the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, respectively. Juan is a businessman who has owned various laundromats, including one that he sold in Baldwin, and one that he currently runs in Freeport.
Rafael attended Plaza Elementary School, Baldwin Middle School, Baldwin High School and two years of Nassau Community College. He played baseball for the Baldwin Little League and football as a running back with the Baldwin Bombers, as well as at NCC.
He built a studio in the basement of his father’s laundromat, where he recorded his own rap music.
At age 14, Rafael started working in his father’s business, and planned to take it over when his father retired.
After his murder, his mother, who is a correctional officer in Mineola, asked community members to raise their voices and attend court proceedings, so that her son could finally get justice.
Cristina Arroyo contributed to this story.