A white man accused of pummeling a black man with a baseball bat was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday in a hate-crime case that focused on the defendant's use of a racial slur before the attack.

Nicholas Minucci, 20, was convicted last month of second-degree assault as a hate crime for the 2005 attack in the Howard Beach neighborhood — the site of another notorious attack that stoked racial tensions in New York two decades ago.

The victim, 23-year-old Glenn Moore, suffered a fractured skull, and one witness testified that the clang of the bat against his head "sounded like Barry Bonds hit a home run."

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Moore's family suggested leniency at the sentencing hearing. Moore had admitted that he and two friends were in the neighborhood trying to steal a car but said they hadn't taken anything when they crossed paths with Minucci and his companions.

The June 2005 attack was a reminder of another notorious incident in Howard Beach that inflamed racial tensions in New York 20 years ago. In that case, a black man was killed by a car while trying to escape a group of white attackers after his own car had broken down.