Five people were arraigned today on murder and felony assault charges in connection with the beating death of a 14-year-old boy who was mistaken for a gang member in San Jose’s Roosevelt Park last summer, prosecutors said today. Earlier this week a grand jury indicted Javier Lamas Hernandez, 21, Scott Michael Conway, Jr., 19, Jacob Jimmie Lynch, 18, Joe Chavarria Jr., 31, and Clemente Salas, 16, on charges of murder and felony assault, according to Santa Clara County prosecutor Carlos Vega. Lynch and Salas were minors at the time of the April 27, 2012, assault that led to the death of Heriberto Reyes, but have been charged as adults, Vega said.
All five are considered gang members and face gang enhancements in addition to the charges. Three other suspects remain in custody in the case, facing murder charges. Reyes had been dropped off at the park around 6:45 p.m. to play basketball with friends and family members when he was stopped by a group of Norteno gang members, Vega said. The group pulled up his T-shirt to check for tattoos, and then beat him, despite his protests that he was not part of a gang. His older brother, who attempted to defend him, was also beaten and knocked unconscious.
Others who tried to help were threatened by the suspects, Vega said. Reyes, whose head was stomped on repeatedly during the attack, died in the hospital three days later due to massive head injuries. Police were able to track down the suspects with the help of anonymous tipsters over the next six months.
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