In May 1997, teenagers Christopher Vasquez and Daphne Abdela, both 16, murdered a 44-year-old Upper East Side man who was stabbed, eviscerated and left floating in a lake in Central Park.
The question of which teenager delivered the fatal blows dominated Mr. Vasquez’s trial. Arnold N. Kriss, Mr. Vasquez’s lawyer, accused Ms. Abdela of carrying out the murder and using Mr. Vasquez as a scapegoat. But in deciding to try Mr. Vasquez prosecutors made clear that they accepted Ms. Abdela’s statements that Mr. Vasquez inflicted the fatal stab wounds and that she played only a minor role in the attack.
Mr. Vasquez and Ms. Abdela met only three weeks before the killing while watching a fight in Central Park, according to friends. The two teen-agers, now forever linked by the killing, could not be more different.
Mr. Vasquez spent most of childhood at home after agoraphobia (a fear of public places) was diagnosed when he was 9. Ms. Abdela, by contrast, grew up in a wealthy family and has been brash, boisterous and difficult to discipline since birth, according to friends of the family.
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