A gang member who was convicted of attempted murder in a 2015 Uniondale shooting that left a 14-year-old bicyclist paralyzed was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday.
Manuel Sosa-Marquez, 24, of Hempstead, was sentenced to 25 years for attempted murder and 5 years on a gun charge.
State Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti said after Sosa-Marquez served his sentence he was likely to be deported because he was in the United States illegally.
The victim’s father, Eddie Herrera, addressed the court and said he wanted Sosa-Marquez punished to the full extent of the law.
“Because a 14-year-old boy is never going to walk again,” Herrera said. “As a father I don’t want this person to hurt another family.”
Prosecutors said the boy was riding his bicycle in Uniondale on the morning of Aug. 6, 2015, to meet friends in a park when Sosa-Marquez pulled up in a Honda Civic and fired three shots at him, hitting him once in the torso.
The victim, now 17, was an avid soccer player when he was shot. He is now living in a nursing home and has limited use of one arm, prosecutors said in October, when a Mineola jury found Sosa-Marquez guilty.
“Manuel Herrera will forever be a prisoner in his own body,” Assistant District Attorney Brittany Gurrieri said Friday.
The verdict in October came a day after Sosa-Marquez, who identified himself to the jury with only the surname Sosa, testified in his own defense.
He said he was a native of El Salvador who came to the United States at age 12, after his family left his home country “because of the gang violence over there” involving MS-13. Once in Nassau County, MS-13 tried to recruit him, but he “wanted nothing to do with it,” Sosa-Marquez testified.
The defendant also said during questioning by his attorney, Brian Carmody of Westbury, that he joined Salvadorans With Pride. But he denied committing the shooting, telling Carmody of the victim: “I never seen him in my life.”
The defense attorney also said the victim had testified at the trial that he wasn’t part of MS-13, but hung around them because they gave him marijuana.
“It was a miserable case. The tragic injuries to the kid and this guy [Sosa-Marquez] has to do 30 years,” Carmody said Friday.
Sosa-Marquez had never gotten in trouble and was even an altar server before the incident, Carmody said.
“He didn’t even know he hit the guy. I find him to be a nice, decent guy,” Carmody said.