Originally published: May 22, 2013 12:42 PM
Updated: May 22, 2013 9:46 PM
By ANDREW SMITH [email protected]
Jairon Gonzales Martinez, 25, of Brentwood, was convicted last month of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault for his role in an attack that left Rumaldo Bethancourt Lopez, 29, dead.
Two other men, Geovani Guzman Hernandez and Alcides Gomez, are awaiting trial for the same attack.
Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said the three victims, who did not know the defendants, were just trying to enjoy themselves when they were attacked.
Abraham Orellana was hit in the head with a brick or piece of concrete, he said. Then about 20 minutes later, the defendants came back with a baseball bat and a metal pipe and beat Bethancourt Lopez and Ramiro Garcia.
Garcia, who has returned home to Honduras, was in a coma and now has a titanium plate in his face and is partly paralyzed, Kurtzrock said.
“Mr. Lopez was beaten so brutally he was no longer recognizable,” Kurtzrock said. “In the autopsy photos, he looks like he was mauled by a pack of wild animals, and in a way, he was.”
Kurtzrock told State Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen that Gonzales Martinez has been without emotion or remorse since the attack.
“He just doesn’t care, judge,” Kurtzrock said, recommending the maximum of 57 years to life.
Defense attorney Michael Brown of Central Islip, however, portrayed his client as a follower in the gang and a childhood victim of beatings by his alcoholic father. He asked Cohen to impose the minimum of 15 years to life.
Gonzales Martinez told Cohen, “I am not a murderer.”
Cohen replied that a jury “found that you are, in fact, a murderer.”
Cohen said his sentence will serve both as a deterrent and keep Gonzales Martinez out of society for a long time, if not forever.
Although the sentence was less than he sought, Kurtzrock said it “will ensure it is unlikely the defendant is ever released.”
Brown said later both the conviction and the sentence will be appealed.