A Camp Pendleton Marine and drug dealer was sentenced today to 28 years and eight months to life in state prison for murdering a fellow Marine in a secluded area of San Clemente in 2008.
Lance Cpl. Christian William Carney, 25, of Manorville, New York, was found guilty by a jury in December of murdering Pfc. Stephen Serrano over stolen drug money. Carney was also convicted on felony counts of criminal threats and attempting to dissuade a witness.
Over the May 9, 2008, weekend, Carney drove to Texas to pick up Pfc. Alvin Reed Lovely, who'd gone home for a visit, and motored him back to Camp Pendleton. Meanwhile, Serrano and Pfc. Chad Hatch broke into Carney's room and stole drug money. When Carney and Lovely returned, a witness told them they had seen Hatch breaking into the room.
Lovely is accused of being in a car with Carney again on May 13, 2008, but the Dallas, Texan's separate murder trial is yet to begin. Hatch was driven that day to a secluded area of San Clemente, where a gun was pointed at his head until he gave up who broke into Carney's room. Hatch gave up Serrano, who in much the same way was forced into a secluded area where he was shot once in the face and three times in the back before being left to die. His body was discovered two days later.
Sophia Serrano, the dead Marine's wife, gave a victim impact statement to the court that was also read on behalf of Serrano's mother Christl McKenny, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office statement.
Not only did he leave behind his six siblings but also a wife, Sophia, and five children, four of them stepchildren. 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."
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Lovely faces counts of murder and criminal threats, plus a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm that could get him 38 years to life in state prison.