Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

16 Years for Paterson Teen in Slaying

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

16 Years for Paterson Teen in Slaying

Article excerpt

A Paterson teen was sentenced Friday to 16 years behind bars for fatally shooting a liquor store worker last year near Botany Village in Clifton.

Dariel Pena had admitted that he and his friends were involved in a dispute with Leandro Mendoza on Oct. 15, 2015, outside the store. Pena said he left but returned later armed with a handgun. He then shot Mendoza twice, he said.

Pena pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and must serve more than 13 1/2 years before he becomes eligible for parole under the sentence imposed Friday by Judge Adam Jacobs in Superior Court in Paterson.

"I am sorry for what I did," Pena said. "I mean it from my heart."

Pena was 17 at the time of the shooting and was initially arrested and charged as a juvenile. He was later transferred to adult court. …

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