EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSGANG VIOLENCE
from Eyewitness News Online
Two Alleged Gang Members Sentenced For Brutal Robbery
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Leslie Rubin/Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Also Contributing: Bob Aaron
Reported: Jan. 26, 2012 10:13 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 26, 2012 10:33 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Two alleged teenage gang members are going to prison for an attack that almost killed a man. Now, prosecutors say that gang is quickly dissolving.
The suspects say the gang doesn't exist, but prosecutors and police say that's a lie, and what started out as petty crimes quickly escalated to a brutal attack on an innocent victim.
Robbed, beaten and left for dead. "It's a miracle that I didn't die," says Joshua Unrue. He fled the state after being viciously attacked by Alex Lanham and Kalom White.
"I never meant to cause him that much pain," said White at his sentencing on Thursday.
A South Charleston park was the scene of that brutal beating last July. A robbery that was set-up long before it happened. Brittany Lanham lured Unrue in after she spotted him with a large amount of cash at the 7-11 on Chestnut Street in South Charleston. When she asked him to meet her at the nearby park, Alex Lanham and White were planning the attack.
"I'm so disappointed in myself because I know better. I have no excuses for my actions," said Alex Lanham during his sentencing.
"When they realized he did not have the money that he had previously in the night, they left him for dead," explained Kanawha County senior assistant prosecuting attorney Fred Giggenbach.
Police say the teens are part of a loose-knit gang called The North Charleston Boys. A gang that started out breaking into cars and stealing credit cards. Crimes that quickly escalated. "Fueled by one thing...seeking out money to buy drugs," said Giggenbach.
Last week, Kanahwa Chief Circuit Judge Duke Bloom sent Brittany Lanham to prison for 10 years. On Thursday, Alex Lanham, who used a rock to attack Unrue got 15 years, while his accomplice Kaylom White will spend a decade behind bars. A sentence the victim is thankful for.
"I moved down there to make a life, not to lose my life. I could have died, you know, and my kids wouldn't have their father, and what would I do then?" said Unrue in a telephone interview.
"We firmly believe that the prosecution of these young individuals has killed this gang and I don't think we'll see any more of The North Charleston Boys," said Giggenbach.
Another juvenile girl was accused of helping lure in the victim. She is also being prosecuted.
Other members of the alleged gang have been sentenced for those car break-ins.
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