THE BRONX - Three reputed members of the Latin Kings gang were convicted of murder Tuesday, three years after they beat and tortured a man, then burned his corpse.
In 2005, the men dragged Dennis Rivera into the basement of a Clinton Avenue building where they beat him with a baseball bat and forced him to ingest drain cleaner, cocaine and heroine. They also burned him with a red-hot hammer.
The trio later hauled Rivera?s tortured corpse to a parking lot behind Yankee Stadium and lit it on fire.
"Nobody should ever go through that," says Gilbert Valle, the victim?s stepfather. "I hope that justice will prevail."
The victim?s family expressed relief at the guilty verdict returned this week against all three men.
"I'm glad that these guys got convicted of murder for killing my stepbrother," says Carmen Peters. "He was a sweetheart, and I loved him to death, and now he's resting in peace."
Three years after the brutal murder, Rivera?s stepfather says he wants the maximum sentence for the reputed gang members who, he says, did not even appear sorry for their actions in court.
"At least show me a tear," Valle says. "Show me some remorse. These guys were straight-faced."
The sentencing for all three defendants begins July 15.