The North Jersey teenager who stabbed and killed 27-year-old Carlos Leiva-Oviedo during a June 2016 Chambersburg attack will serve at least one decade of hard time behind bars.
Danny Saad, 16, of Newark, has pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter, admitting he killed the hardworking Honduran immigrant during a visit to New Jersey’s capital city. The victim suffered multiple stab wounds and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Saad was originally charged with murder, armed robbery and weapons offenses in connection with the slaying, which occurred near the intersection of Hudson and Genesee streets during the early morning hours of June 14, 2016.
Detective Roberto Reyes of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from other agencies, arrested Saad at a relative’s house in Newark on July 6, 2016. Saad was 15 at the time of his juvenile arrest and turned 16 in May shortly after prosecutors charged him as an adult.
A Mercer County grand jury on June 23 indicted Saad on multiple counts, including first-degree murder, but the counts of murder, armed robbery and weapons offenses in the indictment will be disposed of when he is sentenced later this year for aggravated manslaughter. Those are the terms of the plea agreement, which Saad accepted on Oct. 2 when he voluntarily came forward as a self-confessed killer.
The homicide victim Carlos Leiva-Oviedo was an immigrant from Honduras who moved to Trenton circa 2014 to earn money for his family, most of whom still live in Honduras. He was the father of a young child and provided for his family by working in Trenton as a roofer.
Weeks after the slaying, authorities released a still image and surveillance video of two men who were said to be connected to the homicide case. The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office previously disclosed that the video and image released to the media by police in July 2016 “helped investigators identify Saad” and solve the case, which suggests Saad acted alone and had no accomplices.
Saad is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 8 before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Robert Bingham II. He could receive as low as 10 years of incarceration and as much as 30 years in the slammer for pleading guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter.
If Saad took his case to trial and received guilty verdicts on the heavy charges, he would have faced a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 75 years behind bars.
Defense attorney Harley D. Breite is representing Saad while Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Stacey Geurds is prosecuting him on behalf of the state.
Staff writer Penny Ray contributed to this report.