WILKES-BARRE — Convicted machete attacker Juan Borbon has filed an appeal following his sentencing in Luzerne County Court earlier this month.
Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. sentenced Borbon, 21, to spend eight to 16 years in prison as punishment for nearly severing the hand of GAR student Marquis Allen during what prosecutors say was a racially-motivated attack by Borbon and other Dominicans on black youths outside the school on Feb. 9, 2012. He was convicted at trial on Sept. 11.
At sentencing on Oct. 21, defense attorney Paul Galante maintained Borbon “denies involvement in this horrific act,” despite his conviction in September on two counts each of aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy.
In papers filed Thursday, a Berks County attorney representing Borbon maintained that:
• the prosecution failed to demonstrate criminal intent;
• evidence was insufficient to rebut Borbon’s alibi that he was not at the scene;
• “the verdicts were against the weight of the evidence in that the verdict was shocking to the conscience;” and
• Sklarosky’s verdict was excessive for failing “to appropriately consider the defendant’s age, family, lack of a prior record and the circumstances of the defendant’s involvement in this offense.”
Borbon testified during his trial that he did not participate in the fight outside the school, and that he had been in Scranton that morning applying for jobs with his aunt.
But jurors sided with the prosecution, which presented evidence that they were able to identify Borbon as the slasher partly due to accounts from Allen and other witnesses about his distinctive red ponytail at the time of the attack.
Witnesses also testified to seeing him swing the massive knife at Allen’s arm. But one of those witnesses was Yansy Abreu, now 18, a Dominican whom prosecutors say supplied Borbon with the machete and who was identified by at least one other witness as the actual attacker.
Thursday’s motion filed by Bechtelsville attorney Eric Winter requests the verdict against Borbon be overturned and/or a new sentencing hearing.