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BENSONHURST KILLING SUSPECT CLEARED

BENSONHURST KILLING SUSPECT CLEARED

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The final trial in the Bensonhurst racial slaying of a black teen ended Tuesday with a split decision: acquittal of Pasquale Raucci, 21, on murder and manslaughter charges, but conviction on eight lesser counts.

A ninth conviction on riot charges was thrown out by State Supreme Court Justice Thaddeus Owens. Raucci was the eighth white tried in the Aug. 23, 1989, shooting of Yusuf Hawkins, 16, a slaying that came to symbolize many of the city's racial problems. Only one defendant, trigger man Joseph Fama, was convicted of murder.

Hawkins was shot to death after he and three friends, all black teen-agers, were surrounded by a mob of 30 to 40 bat-carrying whites, the authorities said. Raucci was convicted of three counts of unlawful imprisonment, four counts of menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. He was acquitted of four discrimination charges and remained free on $75,000 bail pending his April 23 sentencing.

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