NATION : Term Imposed in Black's Death


A young man convicted of unlawful imprisonment in the killing of a black man by a gang of whites in the Bensonhurst neighborhood was sentenced today to 2 2/3 to eight years in prison.

State Supreme Court Justice Thaddeus Owens sentenced John Vento to the maximum 1 1/3 to four years on each count, with the sentences to run consecutively.

"I'm very sorry about what happened," Vento said before he was sentenced. "When somebody talks about sleepless nights--I have many."

A jury acquitted Vento on July 3 of the most serious charge--intentional murder--but deadlocked over a second murder count and a riot charge. Owens ordered a new trial on the unresolved charges for Sept. 17.

Vento is to be tried with a co-defendant, Charles Stressler. Four other defendants are to be tried later.

The defendants, all young white residents of the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, are charged in the Aug. 23 fatal shooting of Yusuf Hawkins after Hawkins and three friends, all black teen-agers, went to Bensonhurst to look at a used car.

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