Still proclaiming his innocence, Juan M. McNair today was ordered to serve a prison term of 25 years to life for the killing of one man and the attempted murder of another two years ago on Northumberland Avenue.
He has been jailed since he made homosexual-rape claims against his victims two hours after the Aug. 13, 1997 shootings. McNair insisted today that he acted only in self-defense and, turning to relatives of his victims in court, said only he, his surviving victim and God "know what really happened."
State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia, who allowed McNair of Brinkman Avenue to withdraw his initial guilty plea to murder and assault charges on April 5 and stand trial, told the defendant he agreed with the jury that rejected his claims on May 7.
McNair's surviving victim, Vincent Lincoln, now 53, did not come to court today, but Timothy Barlow, 30, brother of the slain James Tyes, 29, told the judge of the "emotional pain" the "senseless" killing caused his family.
Paul S. Piotrowski, the chief prosecutor, said the proof against McNair "overwhelmingly contradicted his claims of rape."
During the two-week trial, Lincoln, who hired Tyes and McNair to renovate his Northumberland Avenue house, said he was trying on the day of the shootings to keep McNair away from his stepdaughter, whom McNair was dating. She had just received a large government check, which Lincoln wanted her to deposit in the bank before McNair learned about it, he told the jury.
The jury deliberated two hours and convicted McNair of second-degree murder, attempted murder, and weapons charges.