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Entries in Bernadette Bergin (1)


"Pinky" Gets 18 Months for Manslaughter

The 13-year-old boy known as "Pinky" - accused and convicted of stabbing 17-year-old Levi King Flores to death on the streets of Newburgh, NY - was sentenced by Orange County Family Court Judge Andrew Bivona to 18 months in a state juvenile facility. It was the maximum sentence allowed under the law. "Pinky" could be out by his 15th birthday. 

It was a case that highlighted the gang violence and rivalry in Newburgh. The two gangs, the BBK and La Eme - represented by "Pinky" and Levi King Flores respectively - are sworn enemies and often go out of their way to provoke and antagonize each other. This is apparently what happen on the afternoon of Jan. 13, 2010 when an incident between the two rivals escalated into a confrontation in which Flores was stabbed to death.

Before sentencing, Judge Andrew Bivona took into account a report prepared by Senior Probation Officer Bernadette Bergin. It detailed parts of the truant teen's life: Suspensions from school; Bringing a knife to school; Pictures with him displaying gang signs etc. After conducting interviews with "Pinky", Bernadette Bergin concluded: "He showed no remorse."

"Pinky" will be in the custody of the state Office of Children and Family Services, which could hold him until his 18th birthday or release him earlier.

The parents of Levi King Flores, Carlos and Martha, were disappointed not only with the sentence but also the 13-year-old's lack of remorse. They wanted to see him locked away for a much longer time and they also wanted a personal apology from him. Neither the law nor the perpetrator gave them what they wanted.

Levi's father, Carlos Flores, stood in front of the court and spoke of an emptiness in their family now that his son is dead. "My wife, Martha, is destroyed," he said.

He doesn't care, said Cynthia Herrera, Levi's girlfriend and the mother of his infant daughter. She cried in the parking lot and leaned against Martha Lopez Flores. Carlos said the law sends a message to other young boys that they can kill without consequence. Martha spoke to Cynthia in Spanish.

"We're just waiting for God to punish him," Martha said.

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