Jorge Aldea had decided that anyone who could put him in prison should die, police say.

"No witnesses, no case," the stocky 23-year-old with a star tattoo on his left cheekbone liked to say, according to investigators. With 12 prior arrests and no jail sentences, he knew what he was talking about.

At the top of his death list was Reyna Aguirre-Alonso, 29, a clerk at the Caribe Mini Market. Aldea believed the Mexican woman had seen him shoot Louis Chevere, 22, to death in November from her apartment window above the bodega.

The day before Alonso died from four gunshots fired into her chest, Aldea, known on the street as "J Rock," gathered his crew, the "Body Boys," and masterminded her Jan. 23 hit, police said Tuesday.

Raymond Soto, 20, would supply a 9mm handgun and was supposed to plan the attack to look like a robbery, police said.

Shawn Poindexter, 17, was enlisted as the triggerman. Poindexter didn't ask for money, according to police. He considered Aldea a "brother" whom he'd kill for. Aldea walked with a limp, the result of being shot in the leg, which would have made it hard to run away.

Eliana Vazquez, 19, who police said is pregnant with Aldea's unborn child, would serve as the getaway driver, investigators said.

Around 7:40 the night Alonso died, police said, Poindexter strode into the market wearing a black ski mask and shot the pretty and outgoing woman who often practiced her English by singing her favorite American pop songs.

Alonso had been questioned by police about the Chevere killing, but she didn't identify Aldea as the killer, sources said, and would not have been called to testify at a trial.

"She died for nothing," said one police officer.

Tuesday, police charged Aldea, Soto, Poindexter, and Vazquez with murder, criminal conspiracy, intimidation, and other counts in the killing of Alonso, who had worked in the shop for two years and sent money home weekly to her ailing mother in Mexico.

"This was a hit, an execution, and we could not be more relieved to have these suspects off the streets," said Capt. James Clark, commander of the homicide unit.

Aldea's alleged accomplices are all in the custody of Philadelphia police. But Aldea remains in New York City, where authorities arrested him last week on a murder warrant in Chevere's killing.

He was captured with a handgun, hiding in an apartment in the Bronx, police said. He is awaiting a Feb. 3. extradition hearing.

Aldea allegedly shot Chevere over a dispute Nov. 24 at Westmoreland and Mutter Streets, police said.

Alonso told friends and family she had witnessed the killing but was too scared to talk.

After police visited Alonso's apartment earlier this month to ask her questions, word quickly spread through the neighborhood - and got back to Aldea, investigators said.

On the morning of Jan. 23, the Philadelphia Daily News published a photo of Aldea in its "Most Wanted" section.

Hours later, Alonso was killed.

Tuesday's arrests came after the Police Department and District Attorney's Office offered differing accounts of why Aldea - with 12 previous arrests for crimes including attempted murder, assault, and gun and drug offenses - was not in police custody at the time of the killing.

He had been arrested Dec. 21 on a gun charge after police officers spotted him with the weapon outside another North Philadelphia grocery store. He was held for court on $50,000 bail.

At a Jan. 5 bail hearing, Common Pleas Court Judge Nazario Jimenez Jr. reduced Aldea's bail to $20,000, despite the objections of the District Attorney's Office, which cited Aldea's lengthy criminal record, including one conviction for escape. (The judge did not return multiple calls about the case.)

At the time of the bail hearing, Aldea had emerged as the main suspect in the November killing of Chevere, according to police documents reviewed by The Inquirer.

Three days after Chevere died, a sidewalk memorial built in his memory was blasted by gunfire. A ballistics test on the gun Aldea was arrested with in December matched the bullets pumped into the memorial, according to the documents.

At Aldea's bail hearing, neither the open murder investigation nor the ballistics test was mentioned. Tasha Jamerson, the spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, said police had not provided prosecutors with the information.

After posting 10 percent of the $20,000 bail at dawn on Jan. 11, Aldea was freed. Just eight hours later, the murder warrant was issued for him in Chevere's killing.

On Monday, Jamerson said police had not requested the warrant until after Aldea was released.

Jamerson spoke on the phone from a conference room with Jennifer Selber, chief of the homicide division for the D.A.'s Office, listening in. Selber's unit handles homicide warrants.

Clark, the police homicide captain, strongly disputed that timeline Monday, saying his lead investigator in the case first presented the District Attorney's Office with an investigative packet and affidavit of probable cause for Aldea's arrest on Jan. 6. He said police wanted to charge Aldea at that time.

The District Attorney's Office reviewed the packet, Clark said, and requested that the investigator conduct an additional interview with a witness - a normal step in the warrant process.

Clark said his unit requested a warrant from the District Attorney's Office again on Jan. 10. Records show that when it was issued, it was based on the same evidence presented in the original affidavit.

On Tuesday, District Attorney Seth Williams said, "Our office asked this his bail not be reduced, and for whatever reason, that judge saw fit to reduce his bail.

"We're trying to do all we can, in all of our cases now, to ask for good bail, cash bail every time a defendant unlawfully possesses a firearm. We're doing that from now on, in every case."

"I'm not going to get into who did what, who knew what when," he said. "It won't lead us anywhere. It won't bring back our victim. My heart goes out to her, to her family."