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25 Years To Life For Pair Convicted In Mistaken-Identity Murder In Brooklyn

(Credit: CBS 2)

(Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two men have been sentenced to prison terms of 25 years to life, after being convicted in the stabbing death of a man they mistook as a rival gang member in Brooklyn two years ago.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced the sentencing of Miguel Juarez and Gilberto Serrano on Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the two encountered Abel Xochimitl, 20, as he left a bar in July 2012 and asked him, “Que barrio?” (kay BAH’-ree-oh)

It translates as “what neighborhood,” but prosecutors say it also can mean “what gang.”

Xochimitl answered: “Panchito. Brighton Beach.” Prosecutors said that is when the men attacked the victim with a broken bottle and knife.

Prosecutors said Xochimitl was not 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.

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