Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Gunman Who Killed 10-Year-Old Asbury Park Boy Sentenced to 25 Years

What to Know

  • A gunman who mistakenly killed a 10-year-old boy last year when he fired into a home where a rival lived was sentenced to 25 years in prison
  • Monmouth County prosecutors say the 19-year-old had been involved in an altercation with a man who lived at the Asbury Park home
  • Authorities say one of the shots hit Yovanni Banos-Merino in the shoulder as he hid under his bed; The boy died shortly after the shooting

A gunman who mistakenly killed a 10-year-old boy in New Jersey last year when he fired several shots into a home where a rival lived has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison.

Karon Council, also known as "Boogie," became emotional when he was sentenced Friday, telling a judge he didn't intend to hurt Yovanni Banos-Merino.

Monmouth County prosecutors say the 19-year-old Neptune resident had been involved in an altercation with a man who lived at the Asbury Park home. When Council couldn't find him there on Feb. 21, he opened fire.

Authorities say one of the shots hit Yovanni Banos-Merino in the shoulder as he hid under his bed. The boy died shortly after the shooting.

Another shot wounded the boy's 38-year-old mother, Lilia Merino. She was treated at a hospital and has recovered.

Council was arrested in Pompano Beach, Florida, by the U.S. Marshals two days after incident following a manhunt.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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