News & Politics

Last of 4 S.I. Hate Crime Defendants Pleads Guilty

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Michael Contreras having apparently pleaded guilty since last we visited this case, Ralph Nicoletti’s guilty plea in federal court today wraps up the hate-crime prosecution of the four young Staten Island men who went on a spree on Election Night, targeting black men. Nicoletti’s plea arrangement gets him a 12-year sentence, pending the judge’s decision. “I was angry. I was drunk,” Nicoletti said in court, per the Staten Island Advance. Contreras and the others — Bryan Garaventa and Brian Carranza — admit to a rampage inspired by the election of Barack Obama, in which they hit Alie Kamara with a pipe, ran over Ronald Forte (who has emerged from the resulting coma with brain damage), and shouted racial epithets. Contreras, Garaventa, and Carranza face up to 10 years in prison.