Saturday, November 8, 2008
Ex-butcher gets prison for killing, carving up two drug dealers
BY JOHN MARZULLI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, November 7th 2008, 11:52 PM
A butchering drug dealer celebrated his 45th birthday Friday with a present from a jury: He'll get to live a while longer.
A federal jury could not agree to sentence Humberto Pepin to death for slaughtering two rivals and dismembering their corpses.
Because of the impasse, he was immediately sentenced to life in prison without parole by Federal Judge Jack Weinstein.
"I'd like to thank the jury for giving me my life back," Pepin said, adding that he's a better man now he's incarcerated.
Pepin, who was trained as a butcher in the Dominican Republic, claimed the 1992 murder of Jose Rosario and the 1995 killing of Carlos Madrid were both in self-defense.
"The definition of depravity is when you can shoot someone six times, slit their throat, then go home and have a hot meal," Assistant U.S. Attorney Walter Norkin said in his closing argument.
Juror Dominick Brunnone of Long Island said outside court that the panel was split, 8-to-4, in favor of execution. "I thought the death penalty was reachable. I felt it was worth going for," he said.
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