For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
August 23, 2016
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks announced today a conviction in a recent attempted murder trial stemming from a shooting that occurred in October, 2015. The defendant will be sentenced later this year and faces up to 56 years in prison.
On August 19, 2016, after five days of trial, a Washoe County jury convicted Sean Cedeno, 19, of Reno, on one count of Attempted Murder with a Deadly Weapon, one count of Battery with a Deadly Weapon, and one count of Discharging a Firearm into an Occupied Vehicle. The trial began the previous Monday and concluded last Friday evening with the jury deliberating 90 minutes before reaching their verdict.
The case against Cedeno began on October 24, 2015 when the Reno Police Department (RPD) was called to an area hospital to meet with a male victim who was being treated for a superficial gunshot wound to his head. RPD patrol officers and detectives with the Regional Gang Unit began an investigation and determined that the victim and several other subjects, including Cedeno, had been involved in an altercation outside an apartment complex on Morrill Ave. in Reno. The victim fled, but returned in his car several minutes later with a male friend and was confronted by Cedeno, who was now armed with an automatic rifle. Cedeno fired multiple rounds at the two men before running into the apartment complex. During the investigation, detectives located surveillance footage of the incident that identified Cedeno. The video captured the shooting and Cedeno’s attempts to conceal the rifle under his shirt. Cedeno was arrested and this Office subsequently filed formal criminal charges against him.
During trial, Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Zelalem Bogale introduced testimony from several eye witnesses, as well as the video surveillance footage showing how the defendant exited the apartment, grabbed a semiautomatic assault rifle from his car, and concealed the weapon under his shirt before firing it 17 times at the victims who were standing on a public street. The emergency room physician who treated the victim testified that a difference of one centimeter was the difference between life and death. In response to the defendant’s self-defense argument based on a prior threat from the victim, DDA Bogale argued that firing an assault rifle 17 times was not a reasonable amount of force under Nevada’s self-defense laws, especially when the victims did nothing to provoke the assault.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 4, 2016 in Department 8 of District Court.