NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of murdered ABC radio reporter George Weber forgave his killer today, but the Brooklyn judge presiding over the case showed no such clemency, sentencing John Katehis to 25 years to life.
Weber had been working as a freelancer for ABC News Radio. He also had worked at WABC in New York, and at stations in California, Colorado and Pennsylvania.
Police discovered his body in March 2009 on the bedroom floor of his Brooklyn apartment after the station he’d been freelancing for called authorities. He’d been stabbed about 50 times, and his pants and underwear were at his ankles, which were bound with duct tape, according to investigators and an autopsy. His blood-alcohol level was 0.12, toxicology reports showed.
During Katehis’ first trial, which began in 2010, prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi described Katehis as a “mature” and a “cold, calculating, savvy killer,” who at 16, placed an advertisement on Craigslist offering sex for money. That trial ended in a mistrial.
Katehis was found guilty in a second trial which ended last month.
Katehis’ lawyer argued in vain that Weber preyed on an underage money-desperate boy, and that the killing was an act of self defense. Katehis was 16 at the time.
Katehis expressed remorse when he addressed the court during sentencing, “for the death of George Weber, I am sorry,” he said.
Weber’s family offered forgiveness.
“I forgive you. I have no hatred,” said Weber’s brother-in-law Jason Hannas.
Did Katehis, who was 16 at the time of the murder, deserve the adult sentence? Does he deserve the family’s forgiveness? Let us know how you feel…