Milwaukee police say 20-year-old Delvin Mendoza-Chaparro’s brutal death was recorded on videos posted to his Snapchat account, hours before his body was discovered behind a garage on Dec. 19.
According to investigators, his attackers were punishing him for a seemingly minor crime: stealing a bong and marijuana pipe from a woman’s apartment.
As Mendoza-Chaparro begged them to stop, the alleged ringleader, who recorded himself on the victim’s cellphone, referred to himself as “Superman.”
“You know who this is, this Superman,” the suspect taunted. “Don’t ever come into the crib and steal, bitch.”
Last week, three people were charged with first-degree reckless homicide in connection to Mendoza-Chaparro’s death. Sarah Zakzesky, 20, and brothers Devin Katzfey and Branden, 20 and 19, respectively, face up to 60 years behind bars.
But police wouldn’t collar their lead suspect, Devin Katzfey, until Monday. Before his arrest, the victim’s mother pleaded for him to come forward to police.
“He needs to turn himself in. That’s the best he could do. My son did not deserve to die this way. This will be the worst Christmas of my life. I have nothing to celebrate,” Iris Chaparro told Fox6 last week through a translator.
Court papers reveal a disturbing set of allegations against the trio of suspects, who police say turned on Mendoza-Chaparro after a night of smoking weed.
The morning of Dec. 19, Mendoza-Chaparro was discovered behind a garage, lying on his back and wearing a blue Marquette University sweatshirt but no socks or shoes. An autopsy later revealed his cause of death to be multiple blunt force injuries of the head.
A neighbor, who discovered Mendoza-Chaparro’s body, described the victim’s injuries in an interview with WISN.
“His whole face was swollen up, his lips was swollen, his hands were taken off. A piece of his hand was taken off and so it was real bad,” Milwaukee resident Samuel Wilson said. “To see something like that, somebody just murdered and left for trash.”
Three videos were posted to the victim’s Snapchat account showing his demise, leaving behind graphic evidence that helped make a case against his alleged killers, according to a criminal complaint filed in Milwaukee County.
In the first video, the perp recorded a closeup of Mendoza-Chaparro’s battered face as he lay on his back inside a residence then zoomed out to show the victim’s Marquette shirt. He appeared to still be alive, as a voice warned, “You got knocked the fuck out bitch. Don’t ever come and steal.
“You know who this is, this Superman,” the voice continued, and flashed a tattoo-covered fist. “Don’t ever come into the crib and steal, bitch.” He concluded, “This your Snapchat too nigga.” (Prosecutors say “Superman” is Devin Katzfey.)
A second clip begins with Mendoza-Chaparro lying on his side near a doorway in what appears to be an apartment, with blood pouring from his face and mouth, court papers allege. He again wore the Marquette shirt but no pants—only underwear.
“That’s what happen when you fight a nigga like me,” Katzfey allegedly stated.
The perp then turned the camera on himself using the reverse-video option, showing his neck and upper body tattoos in a move perhaps indicating that he didn’t expect to be a future suspect. “You hear me, that’s what happens when you try to steal,” he said.
The third video begins where the second left off. The victim tries to get up, but Katzfey kicks him down to the ground, the complaint states.
Investigators traced Katzfey’s Facebook account to an associated Instagram user, “SupermanX74,” which at press time appeared to be changed to “superman_dlk.”
Meanwhile, Zakzesky’s own statement to police painted a sordid picture of the early morning hours before Mendoza-Chaparro’s death.
She indicated the victim came to her Rogers Street apartment after she was “smoking some bowls of marijuana” with her roommate and the Katzfey brothers. She was very high and passed out before Mendoza-Chaparro arrived, she claimed.
Zakzesky told cops Branden Katzfey woke her in the middle of the night “for a blowjob,” according to the complaint, and after they had sex in the bathroom, she noticed Mendoza-Chaparro sleeping on her living room floor. She told police it was around 2:30 a.m. and she went back to bed.
But at 9 a.m., Zakzesky was woken up again by Devin Katzfey, who informed her that the victim tried to steal a bong, a pipe, and other items he saw in the victim’s coat.
She told police she watched as Devin Katzfey dragged a sleeping Mendoza-Chaparro to the kitchen by his feet and launched into the deadly beatdown. The victim repeatedly claimed he didn’t steal anything while Katzfey allegedly punched and kicked his face and head about 25 times, the complaint says.
Moments later, Branden Katzfey joined his brother and began hitting the victim in the face five times, while he was already knocked out and on his back, according to Zakzesky’s account to police.
Then Zakzesky allegedly admitted to punching Mendoza-Chaparro’s face and kicking him three times because she was angry that he was stealing from her, the complaint says. She told police the beating lasted 10 to 15 minutes, and that she heard the victim begging for them to stop.
Mendoza-Chaparro “didn’t even [have] a chance to raise his fists and fight man to man,” Zakzesky told investigators, adding that Devin Katzfey recorded the victim on his own Snapchat account.
For his part Branden Katzfey told detectives that the morning after their party, his brother was upset at the victim for stealing.
Branden Katzfey joined in the assault after noticing Mendoza-Chaparro stole his phone, according to a criminal complaint. He allegedly told cops that Mendoza-Chaparro tried to stand up at one point but, according Zakzesky “smashed [his] head into a counter.”
The creep allegedly took the vile attack a step further, telling police he urinated on Mendoza-Chaparro while he lay near a litter box. He claimed his brother, Devin Katzfey, forced the victim to eat cat litter and feces from the box, the complaint alleges.
Branden Katzfey then stated his brother came up with a plan to remove Mendoza-Chaparro from the apartment and that Zakzesky followed along.
In her own statements to police, Zakzesky said she saw Mendoza-Chaparro try to get up twice but he stumbled over, so she fetched a car and Devin Katzfey put the victim in the back seat and hopped in next to him.
She heard heavy breathing coming from Mendoza-Chaparro, who she said wasn’t speaking and appeared to be unconscious and slumped over in the back seat, court papers allege.
Zakzesky and Devin Katzfey drove the victim about three and a half blocks away before dumping him behind a garage, near some garbage cans. She allegedly pleaded for Katzfey to take Mendoza-Chaparro to the hospital but he refused.
“Zakzesky admitted that at no time could the victim stand up, that he could not sit up and that he was not conscious,” the complaint says. “She further agreed that it was cold enough that someone could freeze to death.
“When asked what she thought would happen when they left him there she said she did not know. When asked if she thought the victim had enough energy to crawl to one of the neighbor’s houses she indicated no,” prosecutors concluded.
Branden Katzfey also did nothing to aid the mortally wounded victim. He allegedly told authorities he didn’t call police because he was scared and believed Mendoza-Chaparro “deserved it” for stealing, prosecutors said.
Attorneys for Zakzesky and Branden Katzfey did not return messages left by The Daily Beast on Tuesday. An attorney for Devin Katzfey could not be reached.
Friends took to social media to mourn Mendoza-Chaparro and to defend him against people saying he “deserved” his fate for using drugs.
“He was a good person. A great person. He just got mixed in with the wrong [people],” one woman wrote on Facebook.
This isn’t Devin Katzfey’s first brush with the law, court records show.
He was charged in October with two counts of criminal trespass to a dwelling, a misdemeanor case that is still pending.
In September 2014, he pleaded guilty to manufacturing/delivering THC. Months later, he pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as an adjudged delinquent. He was released from prison in July of 2016 on extended supervision.