Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Death Bed Accusation

An Easy Case

During a break in the career seminar she was attending, Aponte sat on a bench in the park. When her assailant arrived, she was talking to another man, William Sherief, 25, who was also attending the seminar. Dennis allegedly surprised them from behind, stabbing the man in the arm, and then stabbing Aponte in the lower back and in her side.

Nimsay Aponte
Nimsay Aponte
As he fled, he yelled that he'd told her not to lie him.

A bystander dialed 911. Sherief was hospitalized but survived. Aponte died almost immediately.

Police used Aponte's online records and Dennis's screen name to track him down. Just two days after the stabbing, on the morning of Thursday, May 14, they caught up with Dennis a few miles north of St. Mary's, on the corner of Webster and Tremont Avenues in the Bronx's Mt. Hope section. They arrested him and charged him with second-degree murder, assault and the criminal possession of a weapon. At his arraignment the next day, Dennis sat stonily as prosecutors described his alleged acts; he then denied the murder charge.

As Dennis tells it, that first day, he happened to find Aponte in the park. He accused her of toying with his feelings. She denied it, and he left. The next day, he says, he drank a couple beers, smoked some pot, and returned to the park. He insists he does not recall having a knife on him either day. He acknowledges that he attacked Sherief: Dennis wanted a fight, he said, but claims Sherief just ran off. He claims he didn't kill Aponte, just "smacked her" and told her, "That's what you get for playing with my emotions."

Nimsay Aponte
Nimsay Aponte
Dennis was enrolled in a substance abuse program at Lincoln, the same hospital where Aponte died. He acknowledges a history of mental illness.

Now he awaits trial.