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VIDEOTAPE OF HEIST LEADS TO CONVICTIONS

A District of Columbia Superior Court jury, shown a graphic videotape of five men robbing, beating and then urinating on their victim, handed down convictions that could send them to prison for life.

The men had been charged with armed robbery, conspiracy and weapons violations in connection with the attack that occurred Oct. 28, 1989.One assailant taped the incident with a home video recorder.

"This really was wanton, brutal violence," U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens said following the convictions Wednesday. The case provided "a rare glimpse of the type of criminal brutality" that occurs every day, he said.

"It's disgusting," Stephens said of the tape.

Each defendant faces maximum sentences of 25 years to life to 31 years to life, Stephens said.

The victim, Charles Lawson, 41, of Baltimore, testified during the trial. An attack on another man also was shown on the videotape, but police never were able to identify him.