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Orange County District Attorney
Press Release

Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 08ZF0022

May 18, 2012


Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486


*Co-defendant was convicted by a jury and sentenced in this case


SANTA ANA – A Marine was sentenced today to 15 years in state prison for the shooting-murder of a fellow Marine in a secluded area of San Clemente over a dispute about stolen drug money. Alvin Reed Lovely, 24, Dallas, Texas, was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (Camp Pendleton) at the time of the crime and pleaded guilty today 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.


Co-defendant Christian William Carney, 25, Manorville, NY, also a Marine at Camp Pendleton at the time of the crime, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 20, 2011, of one felony count of murder, one felony count of criminal threats and one felony count of attempting to dissuade a witness. He was sentenced to 28 years and eight months to life in state prison on March 2, 2012.


While stationed at Camp Pendleton, Carney was a drug dealer who sold cocaine and ecstasy. During the weekend of May 9, 2008, Carney drove to Texas to pick up Lovely, who had gone home for a visit and needed a ride back to the base. While Carney was gone, 20-year-old Stephen Serrano and his friend, Chad Hatch, broke into Carney’s room and stole his drug money.


When the defendants returned from Texas, a witness told them that he had seen Carney’s friend, Hatch, breaking into Carney’s room. The witness did not identify Serrano.


On May 13, 2008, the defendants drove Hatch to a secluded area in 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 from Carney’s room. The victim, fearing for his life, told them it had been Serrano.


The defendants drove Hatch back to Camp Pendleton and called Serrano using Hatch’s phone. They left Hatch at the base and instructed Serrano to leave the base with them. Carney and Lovely drove Serrano to a secluded area in San Clemente and shot him one time in the face and three times in the back.  After murdering the victim, the defendants left the body and fled the scene.


After the murder but prior to the discovery of the victim’s body, Carney met with Hatch and instructed him not to talk to anybody about what they had done to Serrano. Serrano’s body was discovered by a jogger on May 15, 2008.


At the sentencing today and at Carney’s sentencing in March, a statement was read on behalf of Serrano’s mother Christl McKenny, who wrote in part, “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.’”


Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case. 



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