A gunman convicted of killing a teen in Westbury whom he mistook for a rival gangster and seriously wounding three of the slain youth's friends was sentenced Thursday to 100 years to life in prison.
Supreme Court Acting Justice James P. McCormack imposed the sentence on Olban Gonzales, 21, of Roosevelt, for the Feb. 17, 2008, shooting outside Don Juan Mexican Restaurant's Club La Boom on Old Country Road near the Source Mall, said the office of the district attorney, Kathleen Rice.
Gonzales' conviction - of murder, attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon - came at his second trial on the charges. A previous jury that heard his case in April couldn't reach a verdict.
Gonzales' defense attorney, Michelle A. Armstrong of Uniondale, said her client continues to maintain his innocence but he understood before going to court that his conviction carried the possibility of a very lengthy prison sentence. Gonzales was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for each of his four victims.
"He was prepared for the numbers," Armstrong said of the sentence.
Armstrong said that she is appealing the conviction in documents filed yesterday.
"He maintains his innocence and he's confident ultimately that the criminal justice system will work to his benefit," she said.
The jury convicted Gonzales, a member of the 18th Street gang, of killing 17-year-old Edwin Mejia Alvarado of Westbury, as the teen sat in a car with the three friends after wrongly believing Alvarado and his friends were members of the MS-13 gang.
The mix-up may have happened because at least some of the victims were wearing blue clothes, which Olban and his crew thought signaled MS-13 membership.
The friends survived but sustained debilitating injuries.
The young victims came to the attention of Gonzales and another shooter, Dwayne Dailey, 24, a Bloods gang member from Hempstead, after MS-13 associates had supposedly hassled their gang friends. Gonzales and Dailey came to the club for revenge, the authorities allege. Dailey was convicted in 2009 of murder and attempted murder and was sentenced to 100 years in prison.
"This was not just a murder, but an execution by a gang member who was out for revenge. Gang violence like this has only two possible endings - death or a prison cell - and Mr. Gonzales has earned the latter," Rice said in a statement.