Sunday, July 13, 2014

Justice for Tyler seen as lacking

February 19. 2013 4:31PM
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WILKES-BARRE – Speaking out for the first time since their 14-year-old grandson, Tyler Winstead, was fatally shot on April 5, Carol and Willie Golden said Friday they are still waiting for justice.

I'm tired. Tired … I'm just tired, Carol Golden, of Wilkes-Barre, said after a hearing for a mother charged with covering up the deadly shooting her teen son was involved in. (The justice system) failed us … There has been no justice for my grandson.

The grandparents had been raising the teen when he was found unconscious and bleeding outside a nearby house on Hill Street six months ago. They repeatedly have declined to talk publicly about the incident.

Angelina DeAbreu, 31, of Stroudsburg, the mother of the boy who shot Tyler, was expected to enter a guilty plea to charges of corruption of minors, tampering with evidence and making false reports.

DeAbreu did not enter the plea as expected, and her attorney, Tom Marsilio, requested time to gather evidence in the case. Judge David Lupas set another hearing date for Dec. 19.

We were expecting a guilty plea and jail time, Carol Golden said. She thought she was going to get probation. When (prosecutors) told her no, she wasn't happy.

District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said her office was seeking jail time for DeAbreu and was not entertaining a recommendation of a probationary sentence.

(DeAbreu) has her rights, and if she does not want to enter a guilty plea, that's her right, Salavantis said. Although we anticipated a guilty plea and sentencing, it was unbeknownst to us that she changed her mind.

Salavantis said her office will now focus on moving forward and preparing for a trial.

The only thing I'm interested in is getting justice for Tyler, Salavantis said. If (DeAbreu) would have been honest from the beginning, we wouldn't have wasted so much time and so many resources (in this case).

Court papers allege DeAbreu hid a gun while her son, Elijah Yusiff, 14, hid shell casings in a pile of scrap mental behind a 119 Hill St. home, evidence in the shooting death of Winstead.

Investigators say Tyler was shot on April 5 inside DeAbreu's 117 Hill St. home when Yusiff took a .22-caliber revolver from a book-shaped case. Tyler was sitting on a bed in DeAbreu's bedroom when Yusiff turned with his finger on the trigger, according to court papers.

The gun discharged and a bullet struck Tyler in the chest, killing him.

I want her to pay, Golden said. Now, we got to go to trial.

Earlier this week, Yusiff appeared in juvenile court for a disposition hearing – similar to a sentencing hearing in adult court – where his case on unknown related charges could have resulted in the maximum punishment, placement in a juvenile center until the age of 21.

Prosecutors are barred from commenting on the case and the proceedings are closed to the public because of the nature of the charges and Yusiff's age, according to state law.

Golden said Friday she isn't permitted to say much about Yusiff's case, but she said she doesn't believe he is paying appropriately for his crimes.

I'm not happy with the outcome of (that case) either, Golden said.

Willie Golden said he agrees with everything his wife said, but now the family will just have to wait and see what happens if the case goes to a trial.

It's a shame, Willie Golden said. (DeAbreu) should have done the right thing from the beginning.

Willie Golden said the family have been turning to prayer and God for guidance through a difficult time in their lives.

We're holding up one another, Willie Golden said. (Thank God) we have each other.

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