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RadioReporterSlaying 7thLd-Writethru 03-26

Teen arrested in NYC radio reporter’s slaying

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AP Photo NYR101

By TOM HAYS

Associated Press Writer

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NEW YORK (AP) — A teenager with a Web site describing him as a sadomasochist and featuring photos of a knife collection was arrested Wednesday in the stabbing death of a veteran New York City radio reporter he met on the Internet.

Police officials said that John Katehis, 16, confessed to killing George Weber shortly after being taken into custody late Tuesday in Middletown, N.Y., where he was hiding out at a friend’s home.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news conference Wednesday that the meeting between the suspect and Weber, 47, involved "an exchange of money."

A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because charges were still being drawn up, later said the suspect claimed Weber had offered him $60 to have rough sex.

Police found Weber’s bound body Sunday in the bedroom of this Brooklyn apartment after his boss reported him missing. He had been stabbed at least 50 times and bound at the ankles with duct tape.

A name for the Queens teenager’s attorney was not immediately available.

On a MySpace page, Katehis has posted a series of photos with various knives, one with the caption, "Love this blade." He describes himself as "a very easy person to talk to," but also as "an Extremist, an Anarchist and a Sadomasochist."

He cautions, "As long as you show respect for me i will show respect for you, if you disrespect me, then i will ... break your neck."

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Weber had his first contact with Katehis on Craigslist sometime last week before the pair arranged a meeting, Kelly said.

A witness told investigators he spotted Katehis on a cell phone outside Weber’s apartment around 6 p.m. Friday, about the time police believe the suspect was let inside. Police believe that once there, he stabbed Weber in the neck, chest and back; the victim also had stab wounds on his hands, indicating he tried to fight back.

The teen fled after exchanging his bloodstained clothing for some of the victim’s clothes, police said. A transit worker later spotted him on a subway train bleeding from his left hand and notified police.

Police said Katehis claimed the wound was caused by a bottle; he was treated at a hospital and released. Following tips, investigators later located him in Middletown, where he was captured outside a bus station.

The suspect was carrying a dagger, police added, though it was not believed to be the murder weapon.

Weber worked for WABC for 12 years as the on-air reporter for popular shows like "Curtis and Kuby." The station let him go amid programming changes last year, and he had since worked as a freelancer for ABC News Radio, the national network.

In a statement on Wednesday, the network’s general manager, Steve Jones, thanked police, adding, "Our thoughts continue to be with George’s family."

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