2010-09-24 / Top Stories

Lenihan Receives 20 Years To Life

By Nicholas Briano

Karon Lenihan was sentenced in Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday to 20 years to life for the shooting death of 18-year-old scholar-athlete Patrick Hernandez as he was walking home with his younger brother.

Lenihan, 19, from Edgemere, was convicted in July on one count of second-degree murder. According to trial testimony, Hernandez was walking along Beach 15 Street with his 16-year-old brother, Ralphael Jones, shortly after 10:30 a.m. on July 10, 2008, when a dark blue Honda approached and Lenihan exited from the rear of the vehicle with a shotgun wrapped in a black T-shirt and fired once, striking Hernandez in the chest.

“The victim in this case was a young man with a promising future who was senselessly murdered just as his dreams were about to unfold. He was an honor student and the captain of the varsity football team at the high school from which he had graduated six months earlier. He was working two jobs and getting ready to head off to college. His death devastated his family, particularly his mother and brother. Such mindless gun violence must be punished in order to protect society,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

According to published reports, Hernandez’s mother, Elizabeth, addressed Lenihan in the courtroom.

“If there was a death penalty in New York, I would have been the first one there to give the injection or pull the switch,” Hernandez said before Lenihan was sentenced. “I have never hated anyone in my life the way I hate you. You would never have become the man my son would have been.”

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