BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — An 18-year-old man was sentenced Friday for his role in an attack of a then 14-year-old boy that occurred at McKinley High School in February 2022.
The teen, who was 17 at the time of the incident and was sentenced as a youthful offender, will spend the next one to three years at the Erie County Youth Services Center. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault last month.
“I made him plead guilty to the [highest] charge, because I believe he knows who the stabber is and he’s not talking,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said. “So I’m not going to give him the benefit of not being a snitch. He may get the benefit of not being a snitch out in the streets, which is fine, but I’m not going to give him that benefit.”
The assailant’s name was withheld due to his youthful offender status. His attorney said that the teen was not responsible for the stabbing and was only an accomplice in the fight.
A second 18-year-old also appeared in court on Friday and pleaded guilty to assault and criminal possession of a weapon for shooting school security officer Brad Walker, who was shot in the leg as he was trying to break up the fight. Flynn said the judge in the case committed to not giving the shooter youthful offender status and committed to a five-year sentence. He will be officially sentenced on March 10.
Flynn said Friday that the incident, which occurred in the school’s parking lot, was over a female.
Sergio Jeter, now 15-years-old, was stabbed 10 times in the attack. His mother, Aurielle Austin, was in court for both cases on Friday. She claims neither defendant showed regret.
“You kind of hope that they will look remorseful or look like they were in an isolated situation or like they didn’t have or were forced into it like Sergio was, but they did not,” Austin said.
“He pled guilty to the charge and he’s going to state prison. At least there’s some closure in that,” Flynn added.
Flynn called the teen who was sentenced an accomplice saying he believes the teen knows who stabbed Jeter.
Thursday marked one year since the incident, and the mother of the student who was stabbed says he still faces a “daily struggle” from the incident. He spent 21 days in the hospital, did not return to school and ended up transferring schools.
“His physical scars are healed. Emotionally and psychologically, there’s just never a way to know,” Austin added.
John Elmore represents Sergio Jeter’s family in the civil case against Buffalo Public Schools and former Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash. The complaint claims that the district could’ve done more to prevent the attack. Elmore is calling for greater security measures in all schools.
“Better training for teachers. Better security. Better police presence. Because if this doesn’t change and these schools are not safe, then the next generation and the generation after that are going to be affected,” Elmore said.
You can watch Flynn’s full comments on the sentencing below.
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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.