CNS--Two Hispanic gang members convicted of stabbing two Black men in the back in a racially motivated attack in El Monte last year were sentenced last Thursday to lengthy prison terms. Pomona Superior Court Judge Bruce Marrs ordered Jonathan Joseph Carrion, 21, to serve 79 years to life in prison, while co-defendant Bobby Miguel Perez, 23, was sentenced to 44 years and four months behind bars. Carrion and Perez were convicted Aug. 1 of attempted murder--along with hate crime and gang allegations--for attacking the two men on June 16, 2007, as they walked in the 11900 block of Elliott Avenue.
The pair also were convicted of assault charges involving a Hispanic man and a White man, who were walking with the two Black men and were beaten. The victims were confronted by a number of people in a sport-utility vehicle-- Carrion and Perez among them--who called out their gang name and yelled racial epithets at them before the attack, according to Deputy District Attorney John Allen Ramseyer.
"There was no reason to attack them but for the color of their skin," the prosecutor said. "This is a crime based solely on hatred."
Authorities believe at least three to five other people were involved in the attack. Carrion and Perez, who were described as members of an El Monte gang, are the only suspects identified, detained and prosecuted so far in connection with the crime.