News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Julian Vancourt-Wels

VanCourt-Wels Pleads Guilty To Assault

SUNY Student Pleads Guilty 

To Stabbing Girlfriend In Face

Appearing in Otsego County Court before Judge Brian Burns, Julian VanCourt-Wels accepted a plea deal this morning from the District Attorney’s office, pleading guilty to assault in the first degree, a class B violent felony. In December, VanCourt-Wels stabbed his girlfriend in the face multiple times at their Maple Street apartment in Oneonta. Vancourt-Wels will serve ten years in a New York State correctional facility for the crime as part of the plea deal. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Cameras Set Stage, Helped Solve Killing

Cameras Set Stage,

Helped Solve Killing

Joshua Underwood is led into Otsego County Court by Deputy Leigh Prostak ahead of a hearing last December. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE  • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Otsego County’s first slaying of 2017 – on New Year’s morning – happened in an Oneonta apartment with a surveillance camera in every room.

The cameras helped put suspect Joshua Underwood, 25, in the victim’s room, and help convict the man, said District Attorney John Muehl.

Underwood was convicted Friday, March 30, to 20 years in jail.

“Witnesses said they got into a fight about Joshua Underwood having a girlfriend,” said Muehl. “Morrison went to bed, and on video, we have Underwood checking on Morrison. Shortly after that, the video went out, and that’s about the approximate time Morrison was killed.”

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Underwood Gets 20, Perry Offered 25

UNDERWOOD

GETS 20 YEARS

Perry Offered 25 In Parents’ Slaying

By LIBBY CUDMORE  • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Joshua Underwood plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter and will serve 20 years in prison.

ONEONTA – Joshua Underwood, 25, who plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the New Year’s Day death of his boyfriend, Mark Morrison, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Otsego County Court.

Officials say around 3:30 a.m. Jan. 1, 2017, Underwood called 911 and reported that he had killed his boyfriend, 52-year-old Mark Morrison of Oneonta. Police found Morrison dead in his Main Street apartment from what was later ruled to be blunt force trauma to the head. Police also alleged that Underwood tried to conceal the crime by stuffing the apartment doorway with newspapers and setting them on fire.

Though originally scheduled to be sentenced in mid-December, Underwood tried to withdraw his guilty plea for first-degree manslaughter, claiming he was coerced by the public defender’s assistant assigned to the case.

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VanCourt-Wels Appears In Oneonta City Court

VanCourt-Wels Appears

In Oneonta City Court

Julian Vancourt-Wels, 20, made an appearance in Oneonta City Court for further proceedings in the charge that he allegedly attempted to stab his girlfriend to death in their apartment on Maple Street. The case was adjourned to Tuesday, Jan. 2 for further proceedings. He is currently being held in the Otsego County Jail without bail. (Ian Austin/AllOtsego.com)
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