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Howard Beach Trial to Begin Defense Phase

November 21, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — A special state prosecutor completed his case Friday against four white teen-agers accused of chasing a black man to his death in the Howard Beach section of Queens.

After presenting about 60 witnesses in 6 1/2 weeks, prosecutor Charles J. Hynes called two final witnesses, the girlfriend of one of the defendants and a doctor who treated one of the victims.

Defense lawyers have not announced how many witnesses they will call or whether any of the defendants will testify. The defense case is expected to last between one and two weeks.

Mostly White Neighborhood

Scott Kern, Jon Lester and Michael Pirone, all 18, and Jason Ladone, 17, are accused of confronting three black men outside a pizzeria last Dec. 20 in the largely white Howard Beach neighborhood.

Prosecutors claim the youths taunted the blacks with racial slurs and attacked them, beating Cedric Sandiford, 37, as he begged for his life, and chasing Michael Griffith, 23, onto the nearby Belt Parkway, where he was struck by a car and killed.

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