WILKES-BARRE — Wearing a jacket with emblems of swords and a knight holding a dagger, Juan Borbon stood in front of a Luzerne County judge Monday and was told his trial on charges he assaulted a teenage boy with a machete was continued until next month.
Prosecutors asked that Monday’s trial be rescheduled while they search for a witness to challenge Borbon’s alibi claim.
Borbon, 21, stated in court records filed on Feb. 20 he was at a residence on South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, when a fight erupted outside Wilkes-Barre Area’s GAR High School when Marquis Allen, 16, was struck in the hand with a machete on Feb. 9, 2012.
The blow nearly severed Allen’s hand. He underwent emergency surgery at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center to reattach the limb.
Assistant District Attorney Mamie Phillips told Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. she needs more time to search for a rebuttal witness, who might be in another state, to challenge Borbon’s alibi defense.
Sklarosky rescheduled the trial for the first week in April depending on an unrelated civil trial that may settle.
“There will be no more continuances in this matter,” Sklarosky told Phillips and Borbon’s defense attorney, William Watt.
City police allege Borbon was involved in the fight and removed a machete from a bookbag carried by Yansy Abreu, 17. Borbon swung the machete that nearly severed Allen’s left hand, according to the criminal complaint.
Allen previously testified at the preliminary hearing that he was not involved in the fight but helped a black student who was “jumped” by a group of Hispanics after classes had ended. The fight erupted at South Grant and Lehigh streets, across from GAR High School.
Police recovered a machete from shrubs in front of a house on Lehigh Street two days after the attack.
Borbon was captured by U.S. Marshals in Passaic, N.J., on March 1, 2012. He was charged with aggravated and simple assault, reckless endangerment and criminal conspiracy. He remains jailed at the county prison for lack of $150,000.
Abreu was initially charged as an adult for his alleged role. His case was transferred to juvenile court in May.