Plea hearing set in beating death of 14-year-old boy

November 30, 2012 1:17:01 PM PST
A plea hearing is set for today in Santa Clara County Superior Court for eight suspected gang members in connection with the April beating death of a 14-year-old boy and assault on his brother in San Jose, a deputy district attorney said.

Seven of the defendants have been charged with murder in the brutal homicide of Heriberto Reyes, an eighth-grader at Bernal Intermediate School, and attempted murder of his older brother Juan, Deputy District Attorney Carlos Vega said.

The prosecution claims that defendants Ruben Becerra, Scott Conway, James Conklin, Angel Lamas, Javier Lamas, Jacob Lynch and Clemente Salas punched and kicked the Reyes brothers on a basketball court at Roosevelt Park on April 27 in downtown San Jose.

The eighth defendant, Joe Chavarriai, has been charged with being an accessory in the murder and attempted murder, Vega said.

The plea hearing is set for 2 p.m. at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

Each of the individuals charged in the beatings have allegedly been confirmed either as criminal gang members or those who committed the acts for the benefit of or in association with a criminal gang, Vega said.

On April 27, the brothers' father dropped them off after school to play basketball at Roosevelt Park, located between Julian and Santa Clara streets in an area known for gang activity, Vega said.

Both victims later became the center of a large fight determined to be gang-related, Vega said.

Heriberto died at the Regional Medical Center of San Jose three days after the beating, while his brother has recovered from his injuries.

There is no indication that either of the two victims were gang members, Vega said.


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