BROOKLYN - The 17-year-old suspect in the deadly stabbing of O'Shae Sibley, will face a judge Friday morning after turning himself in last week.
Prosecutors called the killing ‘tragic and senseless.'
The suspect will be arraigned on the charge of second-degree murder as a hate crime.
Prosecutors say they have evidence of both Anti-black and anti LGBTQ bias and feel confident they can clearly prove the teen's motive in court.
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez did not identify the suspect because of their age.
After weeks of cries for justice in the stabbing death, the DA's announcement Thursday shines a light on potential justice for the Sibley family.
"We have decided to prosecute this case as a hate crime," Gonzalez announced.
The confrontation back on July 29 was caught on surveillance video.
The 17-year-old high school student accused of stabbing Sibley to death is in the spotlight of a case that’s garnered nationwide attention.
Vogue vigils and online tributes following the dancer’s death honored Sibley’s legacy in his hometown of Philadelphia, where his dream to become a full-time dancer in New York, was born.
"O’Shae came to New York to follow his dreams like many New Yorkers. He was a choreographer and dancer. He was here to shine a light in himself and this community in New York City," Gonzalez explained.
Investigators say Sibley, an openly gay man, and his friends were dancing to a Beyoncé song when they were confronted by a group of teens who allegedly used homophobic slurs and ordered them to stop.
Sibley refused despite being confronted by the group yelling those slurs before the deadly stabbing that ripped a hole in his family and the LGBTQ community.
"This entire community has been victimized by this senseless victimization of Sibley. This crime while clearly impacting his family loved ones has impacted the entirety of the Brooklyn the city and I dare say the entire nation," Gonzalez said.
"Any life that’s taken is a Tragedy," Randy Zelin, a defense attorney expressed sympathetically.
But he says prosecutors seeking to secure a hate crime conviction for the teen must clear two hurdles; proving both the teen’s selection of Sibley as a victim and his intent to kill him.
"Was it the intent and the selection because of the sexual orientation and the color of his skin, because merely the fact that it is that simple does not in and of itself make it a hate crime," Zelin explained.
Though the teen's innocent until proven guilty, prosecutors maintain confidence that the proof is on their side.
"What the video shows is that Mr. Sibley was rightfully in a position to speak out and protect himself and his friends from anti-gay and anti-Black slurs," said Gonzalez.
The 17-year-old will appear for his arraignment in court Friday morning.
If convicted, the suspect could face a minimum of 20 years in prison and maximum of 25 years to life.