A Hempstead man accused of killing a teenager with a machete during an argument is facing a second-degree murder charge, authorities said.
Police said David Sadler, 45, fled after the Friday night attack on Albemarle Avenue and was arrested nearby a short time later.
The 17-year-old victim, Terrence Wade Grier Jr., also of Hempstead, died from a neck wound at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, police said.
About two dozen of the victim's relatives and friends were at First District Court Saturday for Sadler's arraignment.
"He's gone. He's really gone," said one woman before collapsing in the hallway.
Sadler, who pleaded not guilty, is being held without bail.
Police provided few details about the incident or what sparked it. Grier's family said they believe Sadler became enraged about losing money in a dice game in which Grier participated.
Sadler told reporters before his arraignment that the victim was among a group of people that attempted to rob him.
"People was out there; they saw what happened," he said.
Sadler was represented by Legal Aid, which does not comment on cases. He is due back in court on Tuesday.
He served 6 1/2 years in prison for first-degree robbery and was paroled in 2003, records show. He has previous convictions for selling and possessing illegal drugs.
The victim's mother, Greta Price, 46, who lives about a block from where the attack occurred, said she wants "justice" for her son.
"He was a good kid," she said. "He got along with everybody. . . . He was a well-liked and well-loved child."
Sandra Newson, 43, a neighbor who said her son was with Grier at the time of the attack, said she held him while two neighbors who were nurses applied pressure to the wound.
"He was saying at first he was going to be all right, then he said he couldn't breathe," Newson said.
Price said her son had a summer job with the Village of Hempstead Parks and Recreation Department.
He had enrolled to take night classes in the fall and planned to get his GED, family members said.
Terrence Grier Sr., 49, of Hempstead, said he had kept his son on a straight path and they had talked about his summer job two hours before the attack.
"It's just hard for me to explain my loss," he said.
With Robert Brodsky