WILKES-BARRE — A woman accused of covering up a deadly shooting in Wilkes-Barre last year has agreed to a plea deal in the case.
A much more relaxed exit for Angelina Deabreu and her lawyers in Luzerne County Court after she pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and hindering the prosecution.
She was accused of helping her son Elijah Yussuf cover up the shooting death of Tyler Winstead, 14, last year in Wilkes-Barre. For the first time, Deabreu apologized to Winstead’s family.
“I am sending my deepest sympathy. They were best friends, and it was just an unfortunate accident, and there was pretty much no coverup. Like I said, it was just a misunderstanding,” said Angelina Deabreu.
During the trial, Deabreu’s son, Elijah Yussuf, testified against her. Text messages and photos of apparent blood stains at Deabreu’s house on Hill Street were shown to jurors.
Ultimately, the judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence for some of the charges. He dismissed one count of false reports and corruption of minors, the harshest charge against deabreu.
“We did not feel as though the corruption of the morals of hte minor was a viable charge. It was the most serious charge. We had to fight it. We fought it. And we won,” said Deabreu’s lawyer Tom Marsilio.
Once dismissed, Deabreu’s lawyers and the prosecution reached an agreement, dropping a third charge, leaving Deabreu to plead guilty to remaining three charges.
Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce say it was a tough day for Tyler Winstead’s family, who left the courtroom before the lawyers announced their deal.
“It hasn’t shaken my faith in the system. It’s the best system in the world. But it disappoints you sometime,” said Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce.
“I would like to meet them face to face to apologize. I know she very upset. Ms. Golden was very upset. And it’s understandable,” said Deabreu.
Another reason the judge threw out some charges is because he thought they had more to do with Deabreu’s son’s case than her own. His case was handled in the juvenile court system. Deabreu could face anywhere from probation to a year in jail.