By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — After more than a year of investigating and litigation, a third teen will be heading to prison for the savage beating of another teen with a baseball bat in June 2012.
Donovan Ball, 19, received a 50-year sentence on Monday for his role in the attack, which has been acknowledged by officials as an act of gang violence. Ball and two co-defendants, Ruben Rosales-Mezar and David Rivera, both of Chicago, were found guilty of attempted murder, a Class A felony, for the beating of then-15-year-old Sergio Torres on June 27, 2012. Madison Circuit Court 3 Judge Thomas Newman handed down the sentence.
The 50-year-sentence was the same as the one received by Rosales-Mezar, 19, whom prosecutors have pegged the ringleader of the gang activity that led to the attack. Rosales-Mezar and Ball both took their cases to trial and were found guilty in February and June, respectively. Rivera, 18, pleaded guilty to the same charges in January and received a 20-year sentence.
According to a probable cause affidavit of the incident, Torres was found June 27, 2012, beaten and bloody in the 600 block of East 27th Street. The teenager suffered extensive head injuries but was able to provide police with critical details about the attack, including information about his assailants.
Other witnesses confirmed the three teens were the attackers. Police testimony indicated Ball, an Anderson resident, was the only one of the three attackers Torres positively identified in police interviews.
The attack was confirmed by several witnesses to be gang related, with the three attackers purportedly connected to the Chicago Latin Kings gang syndicate, and Torres connected with Surenos 13 of Florida. It is believed the attack was retribution against Torres and other Surenos 13 members who had been harassing Rosales-Mezar.
Deputy prosecutor Steve Koester, who tried the case against Rosales-Mezar and Ball, said the sentence was appropriate, and the convictions have brought gang activity from the Latin Kings in Anderson to a halt.
"There was a real presence here, but it was probably influenced more by [Rosales-Mezar] than anyone else," Koester said. "Ball was more of a wannabe than the other two."
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