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East Elmhurst teen charged with reporter’s murder: DA

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A 16−year−old East Elmhurst teen has been charged with murdering ABC Radio broadcaster George Weber in his Brooklyn apartment, the Brooklyn district attorney said last week.

John Katehis, 16, was arrested at 11 p.m. March 24 in front of a bus depot in Middletown, N.Y., and soon implicated himself in the attack, said Paul Browne, the NYPD’s chief spokesman. He was charged by police with second−degree murder and criminal weapons possession after extensive questioning at the 76th Precinct station house, police said.

Citing anonymous police sources, the New York Post reported Katehis’ father cooperated with police and set up the bus depot meeting, offering to give his son $300. Police shooed reporters away from the brick townhouse with the spray−painted front door on 91st Street where Katehis was listed as living. Neighbors standing across the street said they did not know the family.

Katehis was arraigned March 25 in Brooklyn Criminal Court, the Brooklyn DA’s office said. His last court date was Monday. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Katehis had a dagger when he was arrested at the bus station, but it was not believed to be the murder weapon, which he told detectives he discarded about a block and a half from the crime scene, Brown said. It had not been recovered by press time Tuesday.

On his MySpace profile, Katehis described himself as an “extremist, an anarchist and a sadomasoch­ist” who enjoys “long conversations, drinking, bike riding, hanging out, roof hopping, hanging off trains ... extreme violence (chaos, anarchy etc.).” It includes numerous photos of himself posing with knives.

“As long as you show respect for me I will show respect for you,” he wrote. “If you disrespect me, then I will −−−−ing break your neck.”

Weber, 47, an ABC radio newsman, was found stabbed to death in his Carroll Gardens apartment Sunday morning, police said. He had initially been reported missing, police said.

The two met online via a Craigslist ad and agreed to meet in person at Weber’s apartment, Browne said. The Post reported Weber had offered Katehis $80 for a sexual encounter. Once in the apartment, the suspect allegedly stabbed Weber about 50 times, Browne said. At a televised news conference, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said an unidentified male had been seen talking on a cell phone outside Weber’s building around 6 p.m. March 20.

Police believe Katehis, who was also injured during the attack, changed out of his bloody clothes and put on some of Weber’s clothes before leaving the location, Browne said, but it evidently did not keep him incognito.

At 9:13 p.m. Friday, a subway conductor on the G line reported a passenger bleeding profusely from the left hand, Browne said. The passenger was Katehis, who told responding police that he cut himself on the broken glass of a bottle, Brown said. He was taken to Elmhurst General where he was treated and released, Browne said.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 6:32 pm, October 10, 2011
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