Guilty Verdict, Life Sentence In Carbondale Murder Trial

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SCRANTON -- A jury in Lackawanna County convicted a man Thursday morning of first degree-murder.

Joseph Cedeno was arrested in 2012 for the stabbing death of Dennis Doherty in Carbondale.

It took the jury just under an hour to find Joseph Cedeno guilty of first and third degree murder for stabbing his friend Dennis Doherty nine times on a street in Carbondale in 2012.

Only minutes after the verdict was read, the judge sentenced Cedeno to life in state prison.

Newswatch 16 first met Denise Doherty in September of 2012, barely 24 hours after her son had been stabbed to death on Dundaff Street in Carbondale.

Almost two years later, she heard that her son's killer will spend life in prison.

"What were your emotions hearing that he will be in jail for the rest of his natural born life?"

"Relieved, relief, because at least now I know he won't be able to hurt anyone else's family and put them through what I'm going through," Doherty said.

Her son Dennis Doherty was stabbed nine times after a night of drinking in Carbondale in September of 2012.

Police arrested Joseph Cedeno not long after. Now a jury has found him guilty of both first and third degree murder after a two-day trial.

Prosecutors relied on testimony from Cedeno's own family. His mother and brothers testified against him, saying Cedeno confessed to them the night of the stabbing.

"If the family members didn't do the right thing and actually tell us what happened, we would never have been able to prove this case. We had the defendant's own mother, brother, and other brother come in and actually testify against him to basically show what an evil man he is," said Lackawanna County A.D.A. Michael Goffer.

Immediately after being convicted of first degree murder, the judge gave Cedeno the mandatory sentence for that charge: life in prison.

Cedeno's attorney says he still maintains his innocence and they plan to appeal.

"We prepped him for it. Like I said, it wasn't something we were surprised about. So we had discussions with him. He knew what to expect. And he knows we have some issues we're watching out for on appeal," said his attorney Kurt Parkins.

Parkins says Cedeno was offered plea bargains that may not have resulted in a life sentence but Cedeno wanted to take his case to trial. Cedeno started serving that life sentence immediately.

Court papers say the two men knew each other and had been drinking before the deadly stabbing.

Cedeno was found guilty of first and third degree murder and immediately sentenced to life in prison.