Prison for Defendant in Temple Grad Beating Death - New York News

Prison for Defendant in Temple Grad Beating Death

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CENTER CITY -

   Sentencing day Friday in a high-profile case that shocked the City of Philadelphia a year ago.  One of three men accused of beating a Temple grad to death is going to prison for two to five years.  It's a heartbreaking and senseless crime, one which the victim's family says should affect every Philadelphian.  Violence is taking too great a toll on the innocent, and that they say should be unacceptable.
    Kendall Kless is the mother you never want to be: she's mourning the death of her youngest son, 23-year-old Kevin Kless, her baby.  "You cannot begin to understand the loss that this is for our family and Kevin's friends," Kendall Kless tried to explain.  It's a loss that will never make sense.  Kevin Kless had grown frustrated while trying to catch a cab on Chestnut at Fourth in Old City, after a night out with two friends last January.  So he yelled at a passing cab driver.  Three young men in a car behind the taxi thought Kless had yelled at them, so they jumped him.  "People are shocked, there's a young man in a relatively safe section of the city," Assistant District Attorney Brendan O'Malley told Fox 29, "just a truly innocent victim."      Kendall Kless insisted, "This incident scares you to the core,  If this can happen to us, this can happen to anybody."  
    24-year-old Felix Carrillo jumped out of the car first, and landed the first punch.  Carrillo never turned himself in, but when police tracked him down, "He admitted guilt, he accepted responsibility," Carrillo's lawyer Scott Sigman said.  Investigators say Carrillo left the fight before his buddy Steven Ferguson landed the sucker punch that killed Kless.  So prosecutors offered Carrillo a deal: two to five years in prison, a plea his mother accepts.  "He's going through a lot of pain," Elizabeth Rivera, Carrillo's mother, insisted.  "He can't change anything, and he's really sorry."
    Kevin Kless' mother says what is not fair is the violence that's allowed to continue, despite tragedy after tragedy.  And the outrage that seems to last only a day or two, before Philadelphians move on.  "To allow themselves to be desensitized to violence I think is a real problem, because this could be them tomorrow," Kendall Kless insisted.  
    Felix Carrillo did make a statement in court Friday afternoon, apologizing to Kevin Kless' family.  Kless' mother says she's not quite ready to accept his apology.  As for the man who threw the deadly punch, 21-year-old Steven Ferguson is out on bail awaiting trial.

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