Far Rockaway teen convicted of killing HS student

Patrick Hernandez (l.), a star athlete at Far Rockaway High School, was gunned down by Karon Lenihan (r.) in 2008. Lenihan photo courtesy Queens district attorney's office
By Howard Koplowitz

A Far Rockaway teenager was convicted last week of the 2008 murder of a Far Rockaway scholar-athlete who was a month away from attending college, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Patrick Hernandez, 18, of 15-02 Mott Ave. in Far Rockaway, was walking along Beach 15th Street with his 16-year-old brother, Raphael Jones, at around 10:30 a.m. July 10, 2008, when a dark blue Honda approached, the DA said.

Karon Lenihan, 19, of 39-08 Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway, got out of the back of the Honda with a shotgun wrapped in a black T-shirt which he used to shoot Hernandez in the chest, killing him, Brown said.

Lenihan was convicted of second-degree murder after a Queens Supreme Court jury deliberated for four hours July 8, Brown said.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Darrell Gavrin set Lenihan’s sentencing for July 26, when he faces 25 years to life in prison, the DA said.

Lenihan and Hernandez had been rivals and fighting since elementary school, the New York Post reported at the time of Hernandez’s murder.

Hernandez was a scholar-athlete at Far Rockaway High School and captain of the varsity football team, Brown said.

TimesLedger Newspapers earlier reported that Hernandez was bound for SUNY Cortland in upstate New York to attend college before he was gunned down.

Brown said Hernandez “was working two jobs, hoping to buy a car before heading off to college in the fall when his promising life was senselessly cut short by the defendant.”

“Such mindless gun violence warrants maximum punishment behind bars in order to protect society,” the DA said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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