Dominican teens found guilty of killing 7 taxi drivers, forcing some to drink drain cleaner

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Five teenagers have been found guilty of killing seven taxi drivers and seriously injuring two others by forcing most of them to drink drain cleaner.

The teenagers, who ranged in ages from 15 to 17 and included two girls, were sentenced on Thursday to three to five years in prison.

The victims' relatives had demanded the five be treated as adults and serve up to 30 years in prison, the maximum penalty allowed for killing someone in the Dominican Republic.

Police said the teens used guns to assault the drivers in April and steal money from them. Two of the drivers were fatally shot and the others were forced to drink drain cleaner. Authorities said the teens also doused the bodies with drain cleaner to prevent them from being identified.

The sentencing came a day after the government banned the commercial sale of certain drain cleaners because police have reported they are increasingly being used in violent assaults.

In late August, an 8-month-old baby and a 19-year-old mother died after her partner doused them with the liquid, police said.