Teens sentenced for severe beating

Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three of four teen-agers who beat a 14-year-old boy into a coma at an Anchorage park last summer were sentenced Wednesday to five-year prison terms.

Gary Wayne Wilson Jr., 18, Lester Mataia, 17, and Ishmael Thompson, 18, were convicted of first-degree assault.

The three teens, and Trayvon Morrissette, 17, kicked and hit the 14-year-old boy last July. The boy had previously called Morrissette a name during an argument over a bicycle outside a restaurant.

Morrissette will be sentenced in September.

''This was a payback for a taunt,'' said assistant district attorney Hollis French. ''There are really two words that capture this crime ... senseless violence.''

French said the four teens ''stomped the hell'' out of the victim and that when Morrissette told the others to stop because he heard the victim ''gurgling,'' Thompson struck a final blow to the face.

The victim spent two weeks in the hospital and has permanent brain damage. In a previous interview with the Anchorage Daily News, his mother said he can attend special education classes for a few hours a day but will not be able to play sports.

Defense attorneys told Superior Court Judge Larry Card that the attack was impulsive and that the three young men did not plan to seriously injure the boy.

French argued that the young men planned the assault on the boy and then left him to die.

The victim and his family were not present at the hearing Wednesday.

French said the family cannot afford therapy for the victim and asked Card to order the teen-agers to pay restitution.

''It's a shame that this happens in Anchorage,'' Card said. ''The young men acted like a pack of wolves that night.''

Card ordered the three to pay restitution to the family, an amount that will be determined over the next few months. He also urged them at some point, and with permission, to write the victim letters of apology.

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