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Capehart is the third man to be prosecuted by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown after Chen was beaten with a bat and hammer, stabbed and dumped in a pond.Chen was delivering food to Miller's Rochedale Village home when a group of teens jumped him, beat him with a bat and stabbed him in the upper torso so he would not be able to be identify his attackers, the DA said. The first was Charles Bryant, 18, of Rosedale who was convicted on March 16, 2005 of second- degree murder, robbery and tampering with evidence and sentenced to the maximum of 52 years in prison.The second man, Nayquan Miller, 18, of Jamaica pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and robbery and was expected to be sentenced to 20 years in the near future, prosecutors said. Attorneys on both sides met at the Queens County Criminal Courthouse Tuesday morning before State Supreme Court Judge Robert C. Hanophy to hash out details of the case for jury selection, but first butted heads over whether or not new gang-related information would be admissible during the trial. Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal said new evidence would be introduced during the trial that was not known during the earlier trial."We have evidence of gang membership as part of the motive," Leventhal said. "It establishes motivation to the crime and background ... The evidence I have now was not available at the time of the Bryant trial."Leventhal said the evidence would show that the group of three young men were taking part in a gang initiation for the "Gun Squad," a faction of the notorious "Bloods" gang.Defense attorney Russell Moreya contended the motive for the crime was not so complex."The motive has always been robbery," he said. "They needed money so they could go buy sneakers the next day. This is a pure and simple felony murder case."Hanophy did not make a determination on whether or not the new information would be admissible.After the exchange, the family of Chen walked slowly out of the courtroom accompanied by City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), who said he attended to show his support for the family.Speaking briefly to reporters, Chen's father said he was thankful the councilman was there and that the death of his son was still a painful burden to bear."I'm speechless," said Chen's father, Xing Shon Chen. "I believe the defendants should get the highest sentence possible."Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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