Skip to comments.Car-vandal vigilante gets 3 years in jail
Posted on 07/20/2002 7:58:03 AM PDT by sarcasm
A Bronx man who gunned down a career criminal breaking into his car was sentenced to at least three years in prison yesterday after begging a judge for mercy.
"I am terribly sorry," Victor Vicenty said, choking up. "If I could bring this man back, I would. I am a 55-year-old veteran, and I've never been arrested.
"I am a father and a grandfather," he continued. "I know what I have done is wrong, and I apologize. I am asking for mercy."
Bronx Supreme Court Justice Martin Marcus sentenced Vicenty to three to nine years behind bars. On July 1, Vicenty was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of 41-year-old Kevin Bethea.
"I cannot send out the message to the community that this is acceptable behavior," said Marcus, who received letters and a petition with 100 signatures from neighbors on Vicenty's behalf.
He fatally shot Bethea, who had been arrested more than 50 times since 1976, in May 2001 after he caught Bethea breaking into his white 1998 Toyota Corolla.
Vicenty told a grand jury that his car had been vandalized several times while parked near his Soundview apartment building. He said that on May 7, 2001, he heard the alarm sound and went downstairs about 2 a.m.
Vicenty, a school bus driver, said Bethea threatened him and was coming at him when he opened fire, emptying a .22-caliber rifle.
Bronx Assistant District Attorney Barbara Chavez asked for a five- to 15-year sentence.
"We must remain a civilized society," Chavez said. "Citizens cannot decide who, without due process, can live or die."
Vicenty's lawyer, Murray Richman, said his client will appeal.
"I am deeply saddened that a person who is in every way a good citizen must be judged like a criminal and sentenced to time in jail," Richman said.
Exactly. If the criminal had still been in jail for the crimes he'd committed, he would not have been breaking into the man's car in the first place.
Agreed. The Seattle area is reportedly one of the worst for car theft. Given that it takes something like 9 (5?) convictions before any time is served, I'm not surprised. All they're doing is encouraging the crime.
Hm. A bit of sensational difference between "three to nine" and "nine." (Does "three to nine" mean he serves at least three in prison and may be freed any time thereafter, or that he serves the remainder supervised on parole?)
Talk about a miscarriage of justice. The judge, and prosecutor should have recused themselves...
Civilized societies punish criminals, not citizens protecting their own property from thieves..
This judge seems to have no problem sending out the message that stealing others property is a safe occupation, and that recidivist criminals like this "victim" don't belong in jail until they are too old and feeble to pose a threat.
If there has ever been a better case for jury nullification, I've not seen it. They should have given this guy the "Saving taxpayer dollars and eliminating from society someone we who really should have been locked up in the first place" medal.
Well, of course it takes that many. After all, we have to reserve space in prisons for those who are much more dangerous than thieves - drug users.
Google search for Justice Martin Marcus
Governor George E. Pataki today announced that Judges Michael A. Corriero, Joseph Fisch, Martin Marcus, Charles J. Tejada, William A. Wetzel, S. Michael Nadel, Caesar D. Cirigliano, Dora L. Irizarry, Richard M. Klein, Mario J. Rossetti, Edward A. Sheridan, Lawrence J. Tonetti, and Rena K. Uviller were nominated for reappointment to the Court of Claims.
Based on their intellect, judgment, temperament, character and experience, the New York State Judicial Screening Committee found each of these judges highly qualified to continue serving on the Court of Claims. The appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.
anyone feel better now.../sarcasm..
I'd love to be proved wrong and see this judge driven by office by an irate citizenry, but it won't happen. Not in NY.
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