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Las Vegas “311 Boyz’ case ends with one-year jail terms

By CHRISTINA ALMEIDA

Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Four teens described as members of an affluent gang that terrorized a neighborhood last summer were sentenced Friday to a year each in county jail.

The alleged members of the “311 Boyz” gang, who drew national attention after videos surfaced of the youths beating each other, had pleaded no contest to one count each of battery with a deadly weapon, which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors agreed to drop more serious charges, including attempted murder, for the teens’ alleged role in a rock attack that maimed another Las Vegas teenager last summer.

“Each boy has the opportunity to write his own history now,” Deputy District Attorney Christopher Laurent said outside court.

Those sentenced Friday were Christopher Farley, 19; Jeff Hart, 18; Matthew Costello, 18; and Steven Gazley, 19.

Nine teens originally were charged in the rock attack. One was acquitted, and charges against a second were dismissed. Three others also entered the equivalent of no contest pleas and received probation but no jail time.

The judge suspended prison sentences for the four teens, opting for jail time and three to five years of probation, including a year of house arrest.

Moments before sentencing, the victim in the rock attack – 18-year-old Stephen “Tanner” Hansen – urged the judge to impose the maximum prison sentence.

“I would like a second chance, and I’m not going to get it,” said Hansen, who needs more reconstructive surgery for facial injuries. “I’m stuck with the physical and emotional pain for the rest of my life.”

Lawyers for the four had urged the judge to grant probation, saying they had not been in trouble before last summer.

The defendants briefly addressed the judge and apologized to Hansen and his family. Their lawyers took issue with the prosecution’s claim that the teens were members of the “311 Boyz” gang.

Outside court, Hansen’s lawyer said the family was relieved, but also was considering a civil lawsuit against the teens.

AP-ES-08-06-04 2352EDT



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