LANCASTER — A 37-year-old Lancaster man convicted in June of pistol-whipping a teenage victim in the face during a prearranged fight at a Manheim Township park will serve up to 12 years in prison after sentencing this week.
Jeremy Alston was convicted of aggravated assault and related offenses for the attack on the 19-year-old man, which took place on Sept. 23, 2016. Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely ordered a sentence of 5 1/2 to 12 years in prison.
At trial, the victim’s parents spoke about how the victim’s dreams of playing professional football were shattered by the attack.
“My son is alive today because he played dead,” Sabrina Rivera-Gaines said in court. “My son… will never be the same again. He’s so distant. He will forever live with those screws and the metal in his face.”
The victim required surgery to recover from the injuries sustained in the attack. He had three metal plates, 19 screws and 50 staples to treat his injuries and will require ongoing care, according to testimony.
“The fact is he almost killed my son,” Pablo Rivera Jr. said, standing a few steps from Alston.
Alston’s comments included a request for leniency, but no mention of the victim – an absence that was not lost on the judge.
“I’d be down on my knees begging for forgiveness” from the victim and family, Judge Knisely said.
Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson, who won the trial conviction, asked the judge to consider the “extreme egregiousness of the conduct.”
“This is a case of a grown man who brought a loaded gun to a teenager’s fist fight,” Anderson said.
As Alston was led out of the courtroom, he repeatedly looked back and sneered toward the prosecution table and courtroom gallery.
In addition to aggravated assault, Alston was convicted of not having a license to carry a firearm and for reckless endangerment regarding a shot that was fired into the macadam during the incident.
SOURCE: Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office