victor fong takes the stand in chinatown murder trial

I've been hearing from several people about the murder trial of Victor Fong in New York. Fong, 18, is accused of killing Nelson "Punchy" Pena, and slashing the neck of Vincent Rivera during a fight in Chinatown last year. On Friday, he took the stand and testified that he cut Rivera in defense, but had nothing to do with Pena's death: Victor Fong Takes the Stand, Denies Murder in Chinatown.
Fong testified that he and two friends were walking home from an immigration center where they tutored children when they were jumped by a group of Hispanic teens.

"I'm worried about getting jumped. I'm still standing here [and] I hear a familiar voice from behind me," said Fong.

It was the voice of Jesus Baez, 18, a purported gang member who had been arrested previously for assaulting Fong. Baez, who attended middle school with Fong, was with a group of friends, Fong testified.

Rivera was one of them. He went after Fong, beating him in the head with a metal cane, Fong testified. The act was caught on store surveillance video and shown to jurors.

He said Rivera — "a kid that's twice my size" — beat him with the cane until he swung his pocketknife at the large assailant, nicking him in the neck.

The knife, he explained, was something he sometimes carried for protection against muggers.

Fong was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing Pena to death and cutting Rivera on the neck.
Video surveillance shows Fong defending himself against his attacker, and one of the witnesses against him -- Jesus Baez, a purported gang member, who was among Rivera's group of friends -- admits he didn't actually see Fong stab Pena.

I don't know a whole lot about the rest of the details about this case, but based on the evidence reported here, it sounds like the case against Fong is fairly shaky. More here: Lawyer Hopes Video Will Exonerate Chinatown Teen Accused of Murder. And here: Defense: Witnesses Can't Tell Accused Killer Apart From Other Asians.

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