Six young men accused of gang assault earlier this month face stiff prison sentences if they plead guilty or are convicted at trial.
In what prosecutors and police described as a fight between rival gang members, a young men was beatened, slashed and stabbed during a fight inside 150 Liberty Parkway apartment building. The victim needed 103 stitches to the face.
The fight was spurred by the victim’s friend apparently making disparaging remarks about the Bloods street gang or affiliates, leading purported Bloods to go after him and his associates with a machete, BB-gun, pipe, brass knuckles and knives, prosecutors said.
Several of the defense attorneys tried to mitigate their clients involvement in the fight, contending there clients weren’t seen doing anything on video, watching or defending themselves. All six gave statements to the police that prosecutors claimed implicated themselves.
Judge Catherine Barlett pulled no punches during a discussion yesterday on pleas and potential sentences for first-degree gang assault – which carries a prison term of 5 to 25 years. Those defendants with prior felony convictions would face a stiffer sentence.
Based on what the prosecution presented to her, Bartlett said, “I don’t see any of these people worthy of the minimum sentence, if true.”
Indicted were Spring Valley residents Victor Dempsey, 23, of 35 Rose Ave.; Jaieem Webb, 18, of 254 Route 59; Christopher Pettiford, 22, of 117 Bethune Blvd.; Antoine Dufrene, 22, of 12 Gesner Drive; and Anwar Flores, 18, of 47A Summit Ave. A seventh suspect, Samir Jose Flores, 16, of 47A Summit Ave., was not in court yesterday. Jose-Flores was arrested again on Tuesday night on a felony robbery charge after a cab driver was robbed in Spring Valley.
The gang assault charge accuses all seven with acting together. Prosecutor Dominick Crispino told Bartlett that the seven men were caught on video entering and leaving the building. Other cameras inside the building caught several of them during the fight. And six men gave Spring Valley police statements.
During plea discussion between Bartlett, Crispino and defense lawyers, the judge agreed to the following plea offers:
• Dempsey – 12 years in prison as a second felony offender with five years post release supervision. He is accused of possessing the BB-gun during the fight.
• Webb – 8 years in prison on allegations of hitting the victim with a pipe. He also has a pending third-degree robbery charge in a separate case, Crispino said.
• Pettiford – 8 years, plus a violation probation charge. He had a previous conviction for second-degree assault.
• DuFrene – 8 years and is accused possessing a knife. He has previous convictions for third-degree assault and bail jumping.
• Anwar Flores – 12 years. He is accused of cutting and slashing the victim with a machete. He is on probation for attempted burglary conviction.
• Wifong – 8 years. He is accused of possessing a knife. He has previous misdemeanor convictions.
Bartlett set a March 10 deadline for the suspects to decide whether to take the plea offers or challenge the charges at trial.