SCHENECTADY — A former city man was convicted Thursday in the 2014 murder of Angel Carrion, attorneys said.
The Schenectady County Court jury also convicted Hector Abreu of trying to shoot Carrion less than an hour before he carried out the murder, attorneys said.
For both incidents, Abreu faces up to 40 years to life in state prison.
The jury returned its verdict Thursday after about a day and a half of deliberations. It convicted Abreu of second-degree murder and first-degree attempted assault. He is to be sentenced in December.
Abreu, 23, shot and killed Carrion early in the morning of June 27, 2014, as Carrion went from his apartment to his front porch at 1231 Main Ave. in Schenectady.
Less than an hour earlier, Abreu tried to shoot Carrion, but his gun failed to fire. The jury convicted him of attempted assault on that count, but acquitted on the more-serious charge of attempted murder. It is believed Carrion was not aware of the first attempt, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors argued the shooting had roots in a history of conflict between Abreu and Carrion, both of whom were members of the Latin Kings street gang. Abreu was spurred on that night by a fight between a man associated with Carrion and another Latin Kings member, prosecutors said.
Abreu wasn't indicted in the case until earlier this year. He was already serving time for a Schenectady non-fatal shooting on Martin Street, which actually took place before the Carrion murder. Abreu is currently serving 12 1/2 years for that Oct. 29, 2014 shooting.
Investigators questioned Abreu about the Carrion murder the day of his arrest in the Martin Street shooting, Willis said.
"There were difficult aspects of it," Willis said of the Carrion case. "There were no eyewitnesses for a number of years. It was a lot of people who were involved in selling drugs, a lot of witnesses with problematic backgrounds."
But, he said, a camera system proved essential in confirming their testimony.
District Attorney Robert Carney also indicated that there were attempts to intimidate witnesses. Carney thanked Police Chief Eric Clifford for his department's efforts in keeping the witnesses safe.
Abreu was represented by attorney Frederick Rench, who said he understood the jury's verdict, but that he disagrees with it.
"The people's proof failed in certain critical respects," Rench said. "Primarily, the two principal witnesses were given immunity from prosecution."
Both had great incentive to implicate Abreu, Rench said. An appeal is expected.