Vol. 15, No. 9      April 25 - May 8, 2002



     
 

Mother Seeks Justice for Slain Son

By HANNAH ADELY

Raquel Robles doesn't want her son, who was killed April 1, to become just another statistic.

Brian Cameron, 19, of Bedford Park, was allegedly stabbed to death inside a Decatur Avenue supermarket by a building superintendent two days after the superintendent suffered injuries in a fight with local teens. Robles, and several friends and neighbors, insist Cameron was nowhere near the scene of the earlier fight, and that the superintendent, Alcensio Segura, took revenge on her son in a case of pre-meditated murder.

"The right thing would have been if he reported it [the fight]," Robles said. "Instead, he took it into his own hands and took my son's life. It's not fair."

Segura's lawyer, Justin Levine, said Segura did report it to the police, but that the police never took any action.

With neighbors and friends of her son, Robles has attended two recent community meetings -- one at Community Board 7 and another held by the Bedford Park Neighborhood Alliance with two local members of the City Council-- to make community leaders aware of the situation. "I want to prove that my son did not hurt this man ... " she said. "I want to defend my son." Levine would not speculate as to whether Cameron was involved.

Levine said that on the day of the killing, Cameron "knocked into [Segura] with some force and then he gestured outside because outside was the rest of the gang." Levine added that the super was carrying a knife only because he had been opening cartons earlier. He said the stabbing was unintentional and that Segura feared for his life because of the prior attack.

"There's no question in my mind that this is not a premeditated act," Levine said. "He would not in his wildest dreams intend to commit a murder."

But Robles feels that Segura was angry at local teenagers and randomly went after Cameron. "It could have been any one one of them," she said.

While police charged Segura with murder in the second degree, the Grand Jury downgraded that to manslaughter, Levine said. Segura faces a bail hearing on April 25. He will plead not guilty, Levine said. Robles does not want Segura to be released on bail.

Robles, who claims Segura has a prior record (Levine says this is not true, and the Norwood News was unable to verify the claim), wants the city to require landlords to screen superintendents.

Robles, who also has a daughter, said she will continue to pursue justice on behalf of her son. The work helps her ease the pain, she said. When she gets home from her job at the Department of Health, and when she returns from community meetings, she is left with only her son's memory. "I see my son smiling, coming in the door, having those night chats that we had," she recalled. "It's not easy."

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