Ex-girlfriend pleads guilty to role in fatal stabbing - The Buffalo News

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Ex-girlfriend pleads guilty to role in fatal stabbing

The former girlfriend of a man fatally stabbed by his half brother on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation has admitted conspiring to kill him and then trying to cover up the slaying.

Jasmine J. Rios, 19, formerly of Robinson Street, Silver Creek, on Thursday pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy and two counts of first-degree hindering prosecution in the July 11, 2012, slaying of Jesse Seneca in a field off Brant Reservation Road.

The body of the 20-year-old victim was found a few days later, after his family reported him missing.

Seneca’s half brother, Cody R. Testerman, 23, of Brant Reservation Road, was arrested a week after the slaying and was indicted on a murder charge in September 2012. He pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter last March before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller and faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced March 14.

Authorities accused Rios of conspiring with Testerman from July 9 to July 11, 2012, to kill Seneca, hiding evidence of the slaying and lying to Erie County sheriff’s detectives about the fatal attack.

She was extradited from Arizona late last year following her indictment and was arraigned Dec. 27 in Erie County Court.

Prosecutors said she moved to Arizona in late 2012 or early 2013. They declined to comment on a motive for the attack.

Rios will be sentenced April 9 by State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang.

The judge said she is considering granting Rios’ request for youthful offender status, since she was 18 at the time of the crimes. But if such status is not granted, the judge told Rios she could face up to 25 years in prison.

Before the judge accepted the guilty plea, Assistant District Attorney Gary W. Hackbush outlined the charges. He said Rios and Testerman drove to Seneca’s home in Irving on July 10, 2012, where Rios gave Seneca’s mother a bottle of alcohol, then met with Seneca in a bedroom. He said Rios also exchanged text messages with Testerman that day and the following day.

Hackbush said Testerman and Seneca left the house early on July 11, 2012, and went to the field, where Testerman fatally stabbed Seneca.

He said Testerman returned to Seneca’s home and got Rios, who helped him bury the body in some brush.

He said Rios then made up a story about what had happened to Seneca.

Hackbush told the judge that a member of the victim’s family will address the court at sentencing. About 15 family members were in the courtoom Thursday.

email: jstaas@buffnews.com

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