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2 Men Convicted Of Mistaken-Identity Killing In Brooklyn

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Two men who mistook a man for a rival gang member have been convicted of stabbing him to death on a Brooklyn street, prosecutors said.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced Miguel Juarez’s and Gilberto Serrano’s murder convictions Wednesday.

Prosecutors say the two encountered 20-year-old Abel Xochimitl as he left a bar in July 2012 and asked him, “Que barrio?”

The phrase translates as “what neighborhood?” but prosecutors say it also can mean “what gang?”

He answered: “Panchito. Brighton Beach.” Brighton Beach is a neighborhood on the southern edge of Brooklyn.

Prosecutors say Xochimitl wasn’t a gang member.

Serrano’s lawyer, Ken Perry, said the defendants thought Xochimitl was in a gang known as Panchitos. Perry said Serrano wanted to fight Xochimitl but not kill him.

Juarez’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a message.

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