Matthew Rooney, left, and Paul Batterson, Jr.
Matthew Rooney, left, and Paul Batterson, Jr.

A second suspect wanted in connection with killing a man during an Eastport home invasion surrendered Thursday, the same day the first suspect faced upgraded charges in a grand jury indictment.

Matthew Rooney and Paul Batterson, Jr. both pleaded not guilty at Suffolk County court to assault and second-degree murder charges. Batterson had been arrested a month after the Dec. 8 murder and Rooney turned himself two weeks after that.

Prosecutors said the 22-year-old East Moriches men broke into the victim’s house on East Moriches Boulevard, announced a robbery and fatally shot Francisco Pirir-Canel, 45, who later died.

Rooney allegedly shot the victim in the face with a shotgun and authorities said Batterson stormed inside and demanded cash from the residents, believed to number as many as seven men who work as landscapers.

A second victim, Cipriano Pirir-Patzan, was shot in the hand while trying to hold a door closed as the masked pair broke into the house, prosecutors said.

Investigators found the gun in a search of Battersons’ parents’ home, prosecutors added.


Judge Richard Ambro ordered both men to be held without bail at Suffolk County jail.  Batterson is due back in court Feb. 28 and Rooney on March 6.


Hofstra University Transfer

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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.