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What you need to know for 12/14/2017

Man draws maximum sentence for 2014 murder

Man draws maximum sentence for 2014 murder

Judge cites earlier murder attempt as proof of man's violent bent and reason for 40-years-to-life sentence.
Man draws maximum sentence for 2014 murder
Hector Abreu consults with his attorney during his sentencing Friday in Schenectady County Court
Photographer: Steve Cook/Daily Gazette Reporter

SCHENECTADY -- The man who tried, failed and then succeeded in shooting to death another man on a city street in 2014 was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in prison.

Judge Matthew Sypniewski imposed the maximum sentence after recounting details of the crime revealed during Hector Abreu's trial, including that the first time he tried to shoot Angel Carrion on the day of the murder, his gun jammed. 

"It's almost shocking to consider just how determined the defendant was to kill the victim in  this case," Sypniewski said in sentencing Abreu.

Abreu, now 23, shot Carrion on Carrion's front porch at 1231 Main Ave., early on the morning of June 27, 2014.

The jury in September convicted Abreu of second-degree murder and first-degree attempted assault, the latter charge brought because of Abreau's failed attempt to shoot Carrion about an hour before the killing. It is believed Carrion was not aware of the first attempt, prosecutors have said.

The men, who were both members of the Latin Kings street gang, came into conflict after a fight between a friend of Carrion's and another Latin Kings member the night before the killing, prosecutors argued at trial.

Sypniewski imposed the sentence after first hearing from Carrion's mother and sister, as well as closing statements by attorneys.

Carrion's mother, Deliris Benitez, spoke in Spanish, while her daughter -- the victim's sister -- Celideliz Carrion translated. Carrion's sister also appeared to offer her own comments.

"It's been three years since my son passed. She can't sleep; she doesn't sleep since this happened," Celideliz Carrion said, translating her mother's words.

The sister also recalled her brother as a good kid who helped others.

"There is nothing that can be done today to bring him back," Celideliz Carrion said.

Abreu made no comment in court himself. His attorney, Frederick Rench, made clear that Abreu maintains he did not kill Carrion, and he looks forward to his appeal.

Rench pointed out Abreu's age at the time of the slaying -- he was 19 -- in arguing for a lighter sentence. Specifically, he asked Sypniewski to impose a sentence that would allow for rehabilitation and the potential for release.

"I think a measure of mercy is due here," Rench said, "a measure of mercy is appropriate."

Abreu is already serving a sentence of 12 1/2 years for a non-fatal shooting in the city on Oct. 29, 2014. In arguing for the maximum sentence, prosecutor Peter Willis said Abreu believes only the most extreme violence is required to settle whatever dispute he believes he has with someone.

"That type of person ought never to walk the streets a free man again," Willis said.

Sypniewski agreed, ordering the 40-years-to-life sentence to run consecutive to the sentence Abreu is already serving.

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