Wednesday, March 20, 1996

6 sentenced in the death of Eddie Polec (March 20, 1996)

This from the Associated Press...

Lengthy Prison Sentences Given To 6 Who Beat a Boy to Death
Published: Wednesday, March 20, 1996

Six young men who were convicted in the beating death of a
16-year-old on the steps of his church were given lengthy prison
terms today. The victim's father vowed to seek vengeance in the

"When I die, I want to be the first spirit you meet in the next
world," said John Polec, whose son Eddie died on the church steps
after a mob chased him down and beat him with baseball bats.

Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan sentenced Anthony Rienzi and Nick Pinero,
both 18, to the maximum 15- to 30-year terms for third-degree murder
and conspiracy. Thomas Crook, 19, received 14 1/2 to 30 years on the
same charges.

The three young men were convicted of beating Eddie Polec to death on
Nov. 12, 1994, after a fight between two rival groups in Northeast
Philadelphia. The verdicts were handed down on Feb. 5.

Dawan Alexander, 18, who was convicted of manslaughter for kicking
Eddie, received a prison term of 8 to 20 years, two years less than
the maximum, after Judge Greenspan said he was intelligent and showed
"some promise."

Carlo Johnson, 20 and Bou Khathavong, 18, who were convicted of
conspiracy, received the maximum sentences of 5 to 10 years.
Prosecutors said that Mr. Khathavong organized the rumble and that
Mr. Johnson provided the bats, although neither participated in the
actual beating.

Kevin Convey, 19, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in exchange
for his testimony against the others. He was sentenced to 5 to 20
years in February.

Judge Greenspan said she had received thousands of personal letters
and petitions from the community asking her to hand out maximum
sentences. "I needed no encouragement from the communities for the
sentence I impose today," she said. "The jury in this case has shown
all the sympathy and mercy that these defendants deserve."

All six youths were charged with first-degree murder. Defense lawyers
argued that their clients never intended to kill anyone.