Profiles of Defendants in Racial Attack Case With PM-Howard Beach Bjt
Dec. 22, 1987
NEW YORK (AP) _ Following are brief profiles of the defendants in the Howard Beach case:
JON LESTER: Lester, 18, was born in Manchester, England, moved to Florida about seven years ago and to New York five years ago. He was a junior at John Adams High School when the Howard Beach attack occurred. His attorney, Bryan Levinson described Lester as a ''very mediocre student (but) a very bright kid.'' Lester worked at a diner and was said to have aspirations of owning a restaurant.
He was arrested in the summer of 1986 for illegal possession of a loaded gun and is nearing completion of the first year of a one-to three-year sentence. His parents are divorced. His mother, Jean, has remarried, and his father, a former police officer, has moved back to England. Lester was charged with murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, assault, riot, inciting to riot and conspiracy and was found guilty of manslaughter, first-degree assault and conspiracy.
SCOTT KERN: A lifelong resident of Howard Beach, Kern, 18, was a junior at John Adams High School when the attack occurred. He has continued with home study since arrest and is one semester from graduation, according to his attorney, Gabriel Leone. He worked nights as a drug store clerk at the time of the incident. Kern was a close friend of Robert Riley, the prosecution's star witness. Kern's parents are Harold, who works for a utility, and Carol. Kern was charged with murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, assault, riot and conspiracy and was found guilty of manslaughter, first-degree assault and conspiracy.
JASON LADONE: Ladone, 17, a lifelong resident of Howard Beach, was a sophomore at John Adams High School when arrested. He was ''not a good student'' and has no high school credits, according to his attorney, Ronald Rubinstein. Ladone worked five nights a week in a pizza parlor and weekends in a store. His parents are divorced. His father, Frank, is a sanitation worker, and his mother, Joanne, an office worker. Ladone was charged with manslaughter, attempted murder, assault and riot and was found guilty of manslaughter and first-degree assault.
MICHAEL PIRONE: A lifelong Howard Beach resident, Pirone, 18, had just transferred to John Adams High School before the incident but had stopped attending classes, according to his lawyer, Stephen Murphy. He was working full-time as a messenger at Kennedy Airport when the attack occurred. He broke both legs in 1984 when he was hit by a car while on a moped. His parents, Vito and Ruth, are both bus drivers, according to Murphy, although Mrs. Pirone says she works with handicapped children and her husband refuses to comment about his occupation. Pirone was charged with manslaughter, assault and riot and was acquitted of all charges.