Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Borbon denies role in machete attack

Juan Borbon says he was not involved in fight in which teen was hurt outside GAR High School

September 10. 2013 11:35PM

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WILKES-BARRE — Juan Borbon was close to GAR High School when Marquis Allen was attacked with a machete that nearly severed on Feb. 9, 2012.

But, Borbon testified Tuesday, he wasn’t involved in the fight between students of African American and Dominican descent.

He said he was getting sandwiches for him and his pregnant girlfriend at a nearby Dominican store.

Borbon, 21, faces a number of charges on allegations he swung the machete at Allen, then 15, who was trying to break up the fight and help someone who was being “jumped.”

Prosecutors and defense attorneys completed calling witnesses Tuesday. They will present their closing arguments to a jury today before the jurors are instructed on the charges and sent to deliberate.

Borbon testified in his own defense Tuesday, with the help of a Spanish interpreter, saying he started his day by going to Scranton with his aunt, Rosemary Borbon, to apply for jobs. They returned between 2:30 and 3 p.m., when Borbon was dropped off near Blackman and Hazle streets, and walked the three miles to the Dominican store, about two blocks from GAR High School.

There, he said, he bought two sandwiches and returned to his aunt’s home on Franklin Street around 3:30 p.m.

Prosecutors’ witnesses testified differently. Yansy Abreau, 18, said Borbon met him at GAR, where the two joined a group that was going to fight a group of “black kids.”

Neither Borbon nor Abreu was a student at GAR at the time.

Abreu, who failed to abide by a subpoena and was taken to the courthouse by investigators, testified Borbon had a machete and swung it at Allen, hitting Allen’s wrist.

Abreu said he didn’t remember what Borbon looked like or what he was wearing, and he said he didn’t supply the machete to Borbon. Abreu is under juvenile supervision for unspecified charges.

When asked by Borbon’s attorney, Paul Galante, if Borbon had previously been known to carry a machete, Abreu said yes, but that he hadn’t carried one since about a month before the GAR incident.

Several witnesses testified Tuesday the male they saw swing the machete at Allen had his hair, dyed red, pulled back into a puffy ponytail. Prosecutors say that is how Borbon appeared at the time and he has since changed his appearance.

Allen, who attended GAR at the time, testified that after school that day he saw the two groups fighting and broke up two people before going to a group of three Hispanic males “jumping” a black male.

“I pushed them off and told them to chill,” Allen said, noting he next reached down to pick up the male with his right hand.

He said that’s when someone grabbed two of his left fingers and hit him with what he thought was a bat — until he saw the machete’s blade.

The person wielding the machete, he said, had reddish hair in a pony tail. Allen waited for the ambulance that took him to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, where he underwent nine hours of surgery.

Borbon’s aunt, Rosemary Borbon, and his girlfriend and mother of his two children, Aleyey Ovalles, also testified Borbon had been in Scranton in the morning, got sandwiches and returned home around 3:30 p.m.

Deputy District Attorney Alexis Falvello asked Borbon and Ovalles if they were lying to protect Borbon. Both women said no, with the help of interpreters. Rosemary Borbon said her nephew’s hair was red that day; Ovalles said it was black.

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