A Camp Pendleton Marine who had been facing a murder charge related to the shooting death of a fellow Marine pleaded guilty to lesser counts and was sentenced today to 15 years in state prison.
Alvin Reed Lovely, 24, of Dallas, Texas, pleaded guilty to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter, one felony count of criminal threats, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm in the commission of criminal threats.
A jury in December convicted fellow Camp Pendleton Marine Christian William Carney of murder, criminal threats and attempting to dissuade a witness.
The Manorville, New York 25-year-old was sentenced in March to 28 years and eight months to life in state prison.
After Lovely had gone home to Texas for a visit, Lance Cpl. Carney, who sold cocaine and ecstasy on the base, drove to the Dallas area in May 2008 to pick up the private first class for the trip back to Camp Pendleton, where both were stationed at the time. While they were away, Stephen Serrano, 20, and Chad Hatch, both pfc.'s, broke into Carney's room and stole his drug money. When Carney and Lovely returned, a witness told them they had seen Hatch breaking into the room, although Serrano was not named.
On May 13, 2008, Carney and Lovely drove Hatch to a secluded area of San Clemente, pointed a firearm at his head and threatened to kill him if he did not tell them who had helped him steal the drug money. Hatch is said to have given up Serrano before being taken back to Camp Pendleton, where his phone was used to call Serrano, who eventually met up with the party.
Leaving Hatch at the base, Carney and Lovely drove Serrano to the same secluded area in San Clemente and shot him once in the face and three times in the back. Serrano's body was left behind in a ditch and the pair of killers met back up with Hatch and instructed him not to talk to anybody about what they had done to Serrano.
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Serrano's body was discovered by a jogger on May 15, 2008.
As had been done at Carney's sentencing hearing in March, a statement was read today from Serrano's mother Christl McKenny, as Lovely learned his fate.
"Not only did he leave behind his six siblings but also a wife, Sophia, and five children, four of them stepchildren," McKenny wrote. "His youngest son turned a year old on May 18th, 2008, five days after he was killed, three days after his body was found. He was a wonderful son. He had a great sense of humor. He had many friends. He joined the Marines in March 2007 because he wanted to take care of his family. The last time I spoke to him was that Sunday, Mother's Day, when he called to say, 'Have a great day. I love you momma.'"