Carbondale Homicide: Victim’s Mother Speaks Out

CARBONDALE — Investigators in part of Lackawanna County have ruled a stabbing Sunday night a homicide. And, the man who they say did it is now facing homicide charges.

Authorities say it all started as a fight between friends.

Dennis Doherty’s mother stopped by the spot where her son was killed not even 24 hours earlier. She described a man who was helpful, had a good heart, and a lot of friends.

One of those friends, Joseph Cedeno, is Doherty’s suspected killer. According to police, Cedeno and Doherty were walking home Sunday night. And, on the corner of Dundaff and Fall Brook streets in Carbondale the men got into a fight.

Doherty was stabbed nine times in the chest and back. Cedeno was arrested a few hours later.

“I want to know why. Why joey? Why would you do that? He was your friend. Why would you keep repeatedly stabbing him?” said Denise Doherty, Dennis Doherty’s mother.

That same corner became a memorial to Doherty on Monday, and a meeting place for friends of both Doherty and Cedeno. 

“Dennis was my friend and so was Joe, and I don’t know what happened but it`s killing me. I tried so hard to get Joe help, he’s sick, he’s sick,”
said friend Francis Kleinbauer.

It may never be clear what exactly lead to the fight and, ultimately, Doherty’s death. But, according to court papers, after the fight Cedeno left Doherty’s body behind and ran to his mother’s house where he admitted to killing Doherty.

Cedeno’s brother, Michael Spinelli, made the phone call to police.

“It just plays aver and over in your head, but, he deserves everything he gets, I hope they show no mercy on him,” Spinelli said.

“Mike [Spinelli] was Dennis’ best friend, and if it wasn’t for him they may not have even had the lead to see who did do this,” Denise Doherty added.

Joseph Cedeno was charged with homicide and arraigned Monday evening. He is being held in Lackawanna County Prison without bail.