Man sentenced to 25 years for stabbing half-brother to death

Apr 17, 2014

The man who admitted to stabbing his half-brother 22 times on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation was sentenced to 25 years behind bars on Thursday.

Cody Testerman, 23, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter last year in the killing Jesse Seneca, 20, in an open field off Brant Reservation Road.

23-year old Cody Testerman.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News

Testerman's ex-girlfriend, Jasmine Rios was sentenced last week to one to three years in  prison in connection with the case. She was found guilty of conspiring to kill Seneca in July 2012 and then covering it up. Rios was 18 years old at the time of Seneca's death so she was granted youthful offender status, limiting her amount of jail time.

In court Thursday, Testerman apologized to the Seneca family. He said it was an “understatement to say sorry” and said what he did was “irreversible.”

When the Seneca family asked aloud why he did it, Testerman claimed he killed his half-brother because he "didn't feel loved by his family.”

“I was just so sick of being alone. I hated being used. I had no friends. I didn’t feel loved by my own family, I didn’t belong to anyone. I never got invited anywhere and Jasmine promised me all of that, she promised me a new life. She told me about Jesse’s evils and I believed her,” said Testerman.

Neasa Seneca holding a photo of her 20-year old brother Jesse Seneca.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News

Jesse Seneca's mother Robin said justice was not served. She said she believes both Testerman and Rios deserve life in prison for her son’s death.

“There’s no justice. We’re grieving and we lost somebody dear, precious, loved and treasured. This hurts,” said Seneca.

The Seneca family. Neasa Seneca (middle) and Robin Seneca (right).
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News

Seneca's sister Neasa Seneca says she believes Rios took advantage of Testerman and saw he was weak person. She added that if it wasn’t for Rios her brother would be alive today.

“If there’s two things that we know about this case is that my brother Jesse Seneca died for no good reason…The second thing that we know is justice was not served,” said Seneca.

Neasa Seneca said her family is heartbroken.