Three men charged in the grisly 2011 slaying of a Brooklyn cafe owner during a botched mugging have all pleaded guilty, authorities said.
Kevin Taylor, 28, and Gary Robles, 38, copped to one count each of conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery Thursday in Manhattan federal court for fatally shooting, then torching the body of 30-year-old Joshua Rubin Oct. 31. Taylor also pleaded to one count of witness tampering. Michael Mazur, 27, copped to one count of robbery in July.
“Not only did the defendants kill Rubin, they then drove his body to rural Pennsylvania where they set it on fire in an attempt to conceal the murder,” said Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement.
Prosecutors said the trio could have saved Rubin’s life if they had sought medical help — instead of trying to cover up the crime.
Shortly before the shooting, the trio hatched a plan to rob Rubin, according to court papers. Taylor called the cafe owner and arranged to buy one pound of marijuana from him, Robles brought the gun and Mazur served as a lookout.
But when Rubin walked into the meeting spot, a McDonald Avenue apartment in Brooklyn, Taylor and Robles demanded that the cafe owner hand over the drugs. When Rubin refused, Robles shot him, court papers charge.
The trio bought supplies at Home Depot, then wrapped Rubin’s body in plastic bags, tossed it in the trunk and drove two hours to rural Pennsylvania.
They stuffed his body in a garbage can, doused it with accelerant and set him on fire, according to prosecutors.
Rubin’s charred corpse was discovered in a wooded area near Allentown on Nov. 1, 2011, but the case went cold for years.
The men were busted in 2020 after Taylor paid cash bribes to a potential witness in an attempt to keep the witness from snitching on him, officials said.
Investigators recovered cellphone data that placed all three men at the murder scene and at the location where Rubin’s body was found. At the time of their arrest, the feds seized $200,000 in cash and 213 pounds of marijuana from the Kensington home Taylor and Mazur shared.
Rubin owned Whisk Bakery Cafe in Ditmas Park and owed at least $14,000 to creditors before the Halloween slaying.
Mazur is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 6. Taylor and Robles are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 3, 2022. They each face up to 20 years behind bars on the top count.
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