CARBONDALE — A stabbing Sunday night in Lackawanna County has been ruled a homicide, and a man has been charged in the killing.
But, police in Carbondale are still trying to make sense of the incident that started as a fight between two friends.
The Lackawanna County coroner did an autopsy on the stabbing victim, Dennis Doherty of Carbondale, Monday morning. The coroner said Doherty was stabbed nine times on the corner of Dundaff and Fall Brook streets around 9:00 Sunday night.
According to family members the suspected killer, Joseph Cedeno, was Doherty’s long-time friend.
Dennis Doherty’s cousin, Amanda Cruz, said a prayer and lit a candle on the corner of Dundaff and Fall Brook streets in Carbondale. The spot had become a make-shift memorial since Sunday night.
Police say Doherty, from Carbondale, was robbed and then stabbed repeatedly there.
Doherty was rushed to Mid-Valley hospital in Blakely, where he later died.
“I saw him going into the ambulance, I saw his face, I wish I didn’t look at it. I saw it all night. But, I thought, he had his whole life in front of him and now it’s gone,” said Georgia Strackbein, who lives nearby.
Strackbein made the 911 call from her living room and described what she saw Sunday night. She said it seemed like a harmless fight between two men. She didn’t think anything was wrong until Doherty stopped moving.
“What seemed like 5 minutes was really only 30 seconds, everything went through my head, and the one who did it, he got up and running with a white trash bag,” added Strackbein.
Not long after, Police arrested Joseph Cedeno, who they say stole that white trash bag filled with booze after he stabbed Doherty nine times.
According to court papers, Cedeno and Doherty had been out drinking together before this happened. Cedeno then ran to his mother’s house and admitted to the crime. His family called police.
Family members say the two men were friends. But, they said Cedeno was distraught over the death of his brother and that could have triggered him to hurt someone else.
But, no matter the explanation, Amanda Cruz said her cousin’s death will never make sense.
“Even if there was a problem, no matter the circumstances, you don’t take someone’s life. It’s senseless, no reason for it at all,” Cruz said.
The suspected killer, Joseph Cedeno was charged with homicide and arraigned Monday evening. He is being held in Lackawanna County Prison without bail.