One of nine people sentenced to 40 years after fatal group attack of Jersey City man
Published April 21, 2012
Lucius Smith, 20, of Jersey City, speaks during his sentencing yesterday in Hudson County Superior Court in
Jersey Cityh with his lawyer, Jim Sheehan, by his side. REENA ROSE SIBAYAN/JOURNAL PHOTO
A 20-year-old Jersey City man was sentenced today to 40 years in prison for the 2009 felony murder of a 26-year-old man who was beaten with a brick, kicked and punched by nine boys in a deadly game of “knock out.”
In handcuffs and wearing a green Hudson County Corrections Center uniform, Lucius Smith today apologized to the victim’s mother before Superior Court Judge Fred Theemling handed down the sentence.
“I am sorry what I did. I am sorry what happened to your son,” Smith said. “I think about it every day.”
Smith, 20, must serve 85 percent of the 40-year sentence before he is eligible for parole.
A jury convicted Smith in March of felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and aggravated assault.
A total of nine juveniles ranging in age from 13 to 17 were charged in the Feb. 24, 2009 attack on Carlos Orlando Quinones, 27, of Monitor Street, but four had their charges waved up to criminal court for prosecution as adults.
Speaking on behalf of the mother, who was too distraught to testify, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Laura Magnone told the court the mother’s life had “drastically” changed after the loss of her youngest son, an incident that led to her losing her job and suffering from various illnesses.
Describing Quinones as a “good” and “quiet” person, Magnone said he had come from Puerto Rico to New Jersey to find work and become an organ donor after his death.
Asking for Smith to be sentenced to 50 years behind bars, Magnone described him as the leader of the group and the person who struck the victim with the brick. Magnone said that Smith had made a
statement to authorities saying that the boys often played “knock out,” a game where they would approach a homeless person and hit him with a brick until he lost consciousness.
The other alleged attackers charged as adults were Markise Dawson of Claremont Avenue and Augustus Bey of Dwight Street, who were both 17 years old when waived up to criminal court, and Tyshaun Shannon, of the Montgomery Gardens housing complex, who was 18 years old.
Asking today for the minimum sentence for his client, defense attorney Jim Sheehan asked the judge to consider that Smith’s age was 17 at the time of the attack, adding that his client was one of “many, many individuals” involved in the incident.
“To see that on tape was shocking to everybody, but it was the group mentality, the pack mentality,” Sheehan said.“The defendant has been remorseful from day one.”
Sheehan added: “If there was a time machine and he could back and change what happened that night he would.”
Smith’s mother, two sisters and brother spoke on the defendant’s behalf.
“This is my baby boy,” his mother said through tears “He did wrong.”
A witness to the 2009 attack told police Quinones was walking at Cornelison Avenue and Florence Street when the boys surrounded him. When Quinones resisted and the boys found he had no money, the homicidal attack began, Magnone said.
Quinones was left in critical condition and in a coma at the Jersey City Medical Center, and it was days before police were able to identify him. He never regained consciousness before he died on March 3, 2009 as a result of injuries from the attack.
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