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Suspect guilty in two shootings; 1 killed, 1 paralyzed in 2007; plea bargain for manslaughter brings 18- to 20-year sentence.

Byline: Gary V. Murray

WORCESTER - One of two brothers indicted in a 2007 shooting that left one man dead and another paralyzed was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in state prison yesterday after pleading guilty to manslaughter and other charges.

Nau Giang, 31, formerly of 59 Benefit St., had been charged with first-degree murder in the June 2, 2007, shooting death of 24-year-old Julio Cesar Munoz-Mancias in a parking lot next to the apartment building where Mr. Giang lived. Mr. Munoz-Mancias suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

A second victim, 22-year-old Walter Martinez, was paralyzed after being shot in the back, authorities said.

Mr. Giang had been scheduled to go to trial yesterday in Worcester Superior Court, but instead pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter under a plea agreement with prosecutors. Mr. Giang, whose brother, Wilson Giang, is awaiting trial in the case, also pleaded guilty to armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and three firearm offenses.

Nau Giang's lawyer, James G. Reardon Jr., disclosed during yesterday morning's plea hearing that Mr. Martinez recently implicated Mr. Munoz-Mancias and Edwin Masarieo in the Aug. 19, 2006, rape and slaying of Maxine I. Libby. Mr. Masarieo, who was present when Mr. Munoz-Mancias and Mr. Martinez were shot, was indicted last week on murder and aggravated rape charges in the killing of the 41-year-old Ms. Libby, whose battered body was discovered on railroad tracks a short distance from Mr. Munoz-Mancias' home at 59-1/2 Benefit St.

The 18- to 20-year sentence imposed yesterday by Judge James R. Lemire was recommended by Assistant District Attorney Lawrence J. Murphy. Mr. Reardon proposed that his client be sentenced to a prison term of 10 to 12 years.

Mr. Murphy said the shootings, which occurred shortly before 11:30 p.m., were preceded by what he described as "some disagreements" between Nau Giang and Mr. Martinez and a "shoving incident" several hours earlier. Mr. Martinez also reported that he and Mr. Munoz-Mancias were chased that day by a group of bat-wielding men who lived at 59 Benefit St., according to the prosecutor.

Mr. Murphy said police recovered 9 mm and 45-caliber shell casings from the scene of the shooting and 9 mm and .45-caliber handguns from a van that was searched as part of their investigation.

Wilson Giang told investigators after his arrest that he had no involvement in the shooting and was not present, according to Mr. Murphy. Nau Giang, in a prepared written statement, said he shot in self-defense after being struck in the face by a brick thrown by Mr. Martinez, the prosecutor said.

Mr. Reardon, in support of his recommendation for a 10- to 12-year sentence, said his client may have had a valid self-defense claim and that the allegations against Mr. Munoz-Mancias and Mr. Masarieo in the slaying of Ms. Libby suggested Mr. Giang may not have been the "first aggressor" the night of the shooting.

Mr. Murphy disagreed, calling Mr. Giang's self-defense claim "very, very thin." He said the use of a firearm under the circumstances of the case was unjustified.

An armed assault with intent to murder charge listing Mr. Masarieo as the victim was dismissed at Mr. Murphy's request. Mr. Murphy said Mr. Masarieo, whose last name was listed in the indictment as Mazariegoz, ran into some bushes at the time of the shooting and there was no evidence anyone shot at him.

NOTE: 2007 INCIDENT
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 24, 2010
Words:578
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