On Tuesday morning, only one defendant in the 2009 Arbery killing in New York City was convicted of the most serious charge.
Agave Atkinson-Diaz, 30, admitted in court on Tuesday that he shot 35-year-old student Hector Arroyo, who was walking to work at the time of the shooting. Atkinson-Diaz entered an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to a reduced felony charge.
Atkinson-Diaz will serve 11 years in prison. He told the court on Tuesday that he had harbored anger over the death of his father, who died of a heart attack when Atkinson-Diaz was 13 years old. He said he had come to New York City to overcome the pain he felt as a child, and he had become angry at Arroyo for not allowing him to feel accepted.
“I lost my soul and I lost my mother,” Atkinson-Diaz said in court on Tuesday. “And he took it away from me.”
He said that he had been suffering from substance abuse issues and had taken a bottle of Xanax two days before the Arroyo shooting.
But the other man who pleaded guilty to the same charge, 32-year-old Erik Tabú, was convicted of manslaughter. Tabú’s crime was intentional, not reckless.
Arroyo was walking to work with his girlfriend and cousin on Jan. 25, 2009 when he was shot twice in the chest. He was pronounced dead at a hospital in the Bronx. The other man charged in the killing, Ricardo Castellanos, who was 20 at the time, was arrested on Jan. 30, 2009. But his case was dismissed after a mistrial on March 29, 2009, and he is reportedly scheduled to be retried in 2020.