BY TRONE DOWD
Two men who plead guilty in the brutal attack on a Whitestone teenager last month have been sentenced to a combined 37 years in prison.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the perpetrators-26-year-old Wilson Lai, of Oakland Gardens, and 39-year-old Devon Berkley of Allentown, Pennsylvania-slashed the face of a 16-year-old girl in December 2015.
According to their testimony, the two planned to attack a 14-year-old girl with whom Lai was romantically involved. As an act of revenge for the girl’s alleged wrongdoing, Lai hired Berkley to carry out the attack. On the morning of the incident, however, the duo approached a girl whom they believed to be their target, and slashed her twice. Later, they found out that the victim was not the girl for whom they were searching, but instead a Chinese exchange student on her way to a local school.
The victim was hospitalized for her injuries. According to the New York Daily News, she needed more than 100 stitches. She has since recovered from her injuries, but now has two long scars that still line the left side of her face.
“Last month, the two defendants in this case pleaded guilty to brutally attacking a teenage girl,” DA Brown said. “The victim in this case was not the intended target, but nonetheless she will have to live with the pain of the slashing for the rest of her life as well as the permanent scars that remain visible on her face. The defendants have now been sentenced and will be incarcerated for a very long time as punishment for their crime and to protect society.”
Both men were charged with assault. Lai will serve 19 years in prison, while Berkley has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Both sentences will be followed by five years’ post release supervision.