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Teens plead guilty in slaying of 16-year-old rival gang member

Posted November 20, 2013

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— A Wake County judge on Wednesday accepted guilty pleas from two teen brothers charged in the 2012 slaying of a 16-year-old rival gang member, who was shot in the head while walking home from the store.

Brayan Hernandez-Sierra and Ceferino Hernandez-Sierra, who were 13 and 15 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, conspiracy and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill in the death of Fernando Garibay-Benitez.

Brayan, who is now 14, was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison. Cerefino, who is now 17, received a minimum of 26 years in prison.

hernandez-sieraa Teens sentenced in murder of rival gang member

The brothers, who were initially charged as juveniles, are ineligible for the death penalty because they were under the age of 18 when the crime was committed.

Garibay-Benitez was walking home with friends to his family’s apartment on Lexington on the Green in Raleigh on Aug. 15, 2012, when witnesses said a minivan pulled up and gunshots rang out. The teen was a rising sophomore at Millbrook High School.

Investigators said Cerefino Hernandez-Sierra was driving the vehicle, and his brother fired the gun.

“We’re completely destroyed,” the victim's father, Martin Garibay, told Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner during Wednesday’s hearing. “He had many plans in his life that were suddenly cut off because they had a gun.”

Garibay said his son worked to help support the family because his older son is disabled from an accident. His mother was also in court, but she was too distraught to speak.

Defense attorneys said the brothers had a tough family life marked by substance abuse, violence and a father who was in prison. Sixty-eight rounds of ammunition and gang paraphernalia were seized from their home.

Sharif Deveraux, attorney for Cerefino Hernandez-Sierra, apologized to the victim’s family on behalf of his client.

“He wanted to keep his brother out of the gang, but at 15 he didn’t know how,” Deveraux said.

After handing down the sentences, Gessner said, “Children executing children. How did we let it get to this point, and what do we do about it?”

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  • fishon Nov 22, 2013

    woodrock223 it doesn't always start with the parents... there is the pressure to fit in, to give off this persona to be equal to other children in your school, subject to bullying make kids to crazy things believe me. But I agree... "What do we do about it?"
    Civil4Mind

    There has always been the pressure to fit in. Growing up many of us had guns in the house, none of us ever shot anyone. Oh yeah, our parents acted like parents.

  • david46 Nov 20, 2013

    There will always be this class of people. It will never go away. However when they commit heinous crimes against their fellow man judgement and retribution should be swift and sure so that they realize their are consequences to uncivilized behavior as well as their buddies who may be contemplating the same.

  • bfortyme Nov 20, 2013

    Again, this is the tip of the iceberg and this iceberg is humongous! Parents please talk to your children about the perils of attending schools in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. If they trust you and can be sure that you will not implicate them so that they face trouble at school - they will tell you the truth: they are scared!

    Brayan Hernandez-Sierra and Ceferino Hernandez-Sierra committed murder and didn't blink. Do you think that they're the only two capable of these types of societal horrors? There are parents and guardians that are encouraging this type of criminal behavior. These kids are modeling the behavior of the adults in their environments. We are looking the other way as long as the violence remains at "accepted" levels and there is not a public uproar. The level and flow of illegal drugs in Durham is off the charts - a lot of criminals are making millions. And we're content as long as the money circulates and we don't get shot! It's time to UPROAR!

  • arfamr1009 Nov 20, 2013

    these HATE crimes are getting ridiculous

  • arfamr1009 Nov 20, 2013

    these kids will cost tax payers a combined $80,000 per year to keep them in jail. This is ridiculous...they will get out and kill more people in 7 years or so!!

  • arfamr1009 Nov 20, 2013

    this is becoming very common these days. No end in site...only excuses. good job America!!! Ignore the cause and blame someone else for all this nonsense!!

  • 75Tarheel Nov 20, 2013

    Well done Judge! Nice long prison sentences will send a message. It may not make much difference but if it saves ONE life then it was enough.

    Terrible parenting lead to this and that's the ONLY way to change this environment. And defense attorneys always play the same sad song, "they had a rough life". TOO BAD! All of us have had tough issues to deal with growing up.

  • malonem1 Nov 20, 2013

    Terrible that we have gang groups out there that think nothing of taking someone's life- Not sure whether they were ever taught morals, respect, manners - Gang members obviously don't know what to do with their lives - it's a shame that this young shining teen's life was taken so young - he could have contributed a lot to society. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims' family - and maybe this will teach other gang members to put the guns down and start changing their lives.

  • TheRealist1953 Nov 20, 2013

    "How did we let it get to this?"

    LAX PARENTING and a culture of 'spare the rod' to the point that parents are afraid the police will be called by the child, claiming 'abuse'.

    I am NOT say slap the kids around all the time; but restrictions, extra work around the house, skip a few meals, and maybe 'camps for bad kids' to try to teach them how to grow up.

  • 678devilish Nov 20, 2013

    were 13 and 15

    Oh, so young and now heading to prison for awhile. What life they are going to have. Miserable!

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