by HEATHER HARLAN
A teenager who viciously beat and stabbed Chinese deliveryman to death during a robbery, was given the maximum sentence by a Queens judge, who became teary-eyed as he described the brutal murder.
Charles Bryant, 17, was sentenced to 51 and 1/3 years to life in prison for killing 18-year-old deliveryman, Huang Chen, in order get money to buy expensive sneakers.
“Huang Chen was so beaten up it was almost impossible to recognize him,” said Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert Hanophy, choking up as he imposed the sentence.
During the killer’s March trial, prosecutors described how Bryant and two other friends ambushed Chen at a South Jamaica apartment complex after calling in a $10 order of food from Chen’s family’s takeout shop. Prosecutors said that when Chen arrived at the apartment, the three beat him with a baseball bat and hammer, stabbed him in the chest and later dumped the body in a nearby pond.
The robbery allegedly netted $49 that the trio planned to use to buy Air Jordan sneakers. All three were only 16 years old when the murder occurred in February 2004.
The victim’s family hailed the stiff sentence.
“My wife and I struggled to stay together as a family, raise our children and live the American dream,” Huang’s father, Xin Shou Chen, said after the sentencing. “Now this dream is gone and my son is dead. This trial and sentencing won’t bring my son back, but it gives us the strength to go on.”
One of the other teens, Nayquan Miller, 17, is being held without bail and is expected to go to trial later this summer.
The other teen, Jonathan Capehart, 18, has not been charged in the case due to lack of evidence against him.
The violent attack on Chen was one of several against Chinese food deliverymen in the New York area in the past five years. In the most recent incident –– which happened just 12 days before Bryant’s sentencing –– a deliveryman on Long Island was beaten by two robbers with a metal pipe and choked. The unidentified 44-year-old victim survived, but lost his cell phone, cash and his food order, police said. He was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries to his head, knee and wrist. No arrests have yet been made.
“Community leaders praised prosecutors efforts and the judge’s sentence in the Chen case, and said they hope it will discourage the trend from continuing.
“This is a strong message to would-be criminals who see food delivery workers as easy prey,” said City Council Member John C. Liu.
Copyright 2005 Asianweek.com