Courtroom spectators screamed threats at the judge, prosecutor and jurors when two more defendants were convicted in the attack on a jogger who was gang-raped and beaten nearly to death in Central Park.
Kevin Richardson, 16, on Tuesday became the first of five people convicted in the April 1989 attack to be found guilty of attempted murder. He also was convicted of rape, sodomy, robbery, assault and riot.Kharey Wise, 18, was cleared of the more serious charges but found guilty of assault, sexual abuse and riot. One juror said physical evidence, like that against Richardson, was lacking in Wise's case.
The verdicts came after 12 days of deliberations in the case, which rested chiefly on videotaped statements the defendants made to police. The defense had argued that the teenagers were intimidated and told what to say by police.
Family members and other supporters erupted when the verdicts against Richardson were read, jumping to their feet, yelling threats and waving fists.
Some yelled "white justice" or "white racist" and accused the judge and prosecutor of railroading Wise and Richardson, who are black. The victim is white.
Richardson's mother, Grace Cuffey, fainted in the pandemonium, and the court was cleared so emergency workers could administer oxygen.
As Wise was led from the courtroom in handcuffs, he turned to Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Lederer and said: "You're going to pay for this."
Lederer, who won convictions against three other defendants in an earlier trial stemming from the attack, was escorted from court by police.
The case symbolized rising fears of random violence in New York City and brought the term "wilding" into the city's mainstream vocabulary. Wilding is a street term for indiscriminate rampages of violence and robberies.
Critics in the black community said the case received wide attention only because the victim, an investment banker, was white and affluent.
Wise and Richardson face sentencing on Jan. 9. Richardson, charged as a minor, could get a maximum of five to 10 years in prison.
Wise, who was charged as an adult because he was 16 when the attack took place, could be sentenced to eight and two-thirds to 26 years in prison.
Defense attorneys said they would appeal.
The woman, now 30, was left near death with severe head injuries.