INDEX — Fire Department officials are reporting that there were no serious injuries despite a tour bus catching on fire south of Cooperstown on state Route 28 Saturday evening.
Dramatic eyewitness video shared on Facebook shows the bus burning from the lower back section on a stretch of Route 28 near Kevin’s Royal Auto in the town of Otsego.
Route 28 was closed from county Route 26 to county Route 11 as fire officials from Cooperstown, Fly Creek, Hartwick and more responded to the situation. The accident was cleared and 28 reopened by 6:30 p.m.
According to a Facebook post, the bus held a wedding party, which made their destination safely despite the diversion.
ONEONTA — A committee including mayoral candidates Mark Drnek and Len Carson approved final changes to the Community Advisory Board police review document, which will sent back to the original CAB members followed by a public hearing.
The process should take about a month to complete, according to city officials.
The Community Advisory Board met Tuesday, July 13, at City Hall to follow up on the document, which was prepared in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order for police departments to recommend “best practices” that align with community values. That order and a review Herzig had ordered before Cuomo’s order, were in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020. A Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of Floyd’s murder in April.
COOPERSTOWN – Anais Soto of Oneonta, one of the accomplices in the 2019 murder of Kenneth Robinson during a botched robbery, was sentenced Friday, July 2, to eight years in prison and four years probation after pleading guilty to burglary in the first degree Friday, July 2, in Otsego County Court.
Soto, 17, was visibly shaken during the proceedings, crying at points. Judge John Lambert had to remind her several times to speak up.
District Attorney John Muehl read a statement from Kenneth Robinson’s mother, Sharon Sawyer, in which she called for the highest possible sentence allowed by law.
COOPERSTOWN — Now that the trial of Dylan Robinson has ended in conviction, Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl said he is considering restarting the process against Robinson’s accomplice, Alexander Borggreen, for refusing to testify against Robinson despite making a plea deal.
Muehl said he was satisfied with the conviction, which the jury returned Wednesday, June 23, although he said he was surprised they didn’t convict Robinson of arson.
Robinson was convicted of second degree murder in the Oct. 10, 2019, shooting death of his father, Kenneth Robinson, as well as robbery in the third degree and first degree burglary.
“You have a 15-year-old who killed his father. Nobody takes pleasure in putting a 15-year-old in prison,” Muehl said, calling what Robinson did a “pretty violent crime.”
Muehl said he anticipates a harsh sentence because of the nature of the crime.
Muehl said he hasn’t made a decision on what is going to happen to Borggreen.
“I can make a motion to vacate his plea and his sentence and start over again. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do,” Muehl said. “But once again, we’re dealing with a 17-year-old. They don’t make the greatest decisions, and in reality, him not testifying, other than the fact that he could’ve established for certain for the jury that Dylan Robinson was the one who shot Kenneth Robinson, was almost as good as him testifying.”
The defense attorney for Robinson, Thomas Hegeman, said that the trial “was a tough case.”
“The bottom line is we were offered a plea bargain, my client didn’t like it so we went to trial,” Hegeman said.
The plea deal would’ve been for murder one, with a sentence of 22 to life.
Muehl said the crime was unusual in Otsego. “The last young person I had killed his parents when he was 19,” he said. “In my career I’ve never had anything like this with a 15-year-old.”
The Cooperstown Police Department is investigating racist, pornographic and other graffiti that was drawn, written and scratched into signs and equipment at Badger Park on Tuesday, June 22, or Wednesday, June 23.
Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh said the CPD is canvassing the neighborhood around the park, including going door-to-door on Beaver Street, which the park entrance is located, asking neighbors if they heard or saw anything Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Village crews were at the park Wednesday morning, not long after the graffiti was reported to village officials, Tillapaugh said. They quickly scrubbed off the drawings made in marker on the playground equipment, but were not aware of the “N word” scratched into a sign at the entrance of the park until late Wednesday, she said.
“They will be cleaning it off first thing (Thursday) morning with a buffer/cleaner,” she said.
COOERSTOWN — An Otsego County jury found teenager Dylan Robinson guilty of second-degree murder in the Oct. 10, 2019, shooting death of his father, Kenneth Robinson of Worcester.
The jury acquitted Robinson of one count , third-degree arson, but found him guilty of two other counts in addition to the murder charges, third-degree robbery and first-degree burglary.
Robinson stood with his hands in his pockets at the verdict was read.
“Everything went as planned,” District Attorney John Muehl, allowing that Alexander Borggreen refusing to testify was a slight hiccup.
“In my opinion the right verdict was reached, but how do you ever feel good about putting a 17 year old in prison? You don’t. It’s a no-win situation. All these kids go to prison but you can’t have even 17 year old’s killing people.” Muehl said.
Muehl said that Borggreen, who was already convicted, might be brought up on further charges as a consequence to refusing to testify against Robinson.
Muehl named Anais Soto and Robinson’s brother Cory Robinson as keys to the conviction, but stated that he felt bad brining Cory Robinson up and felt it wouldn’t have been necessary had Borggreen testified.
Sentencing will take place Monday, Aug. 23, at the Otsego County Courthouse in Cooperstown.
State officials are investigating the death of an inmate at the Otsego County Jail in the town of Middlefield on Saturday, June 19, according to a media release from Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin, Jr.
At approximately 11:15 a.m., correction officers found a male inmate unresponsive in his cell in what is believed to be a suicide attempt, according to the media release; Officers performed lifesaving measures, utilizing an automated external defibrillator and doing CPR until the arrival of first responders, who took over treatment.
The inmate was transported to Bassett Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1 p.m.
The NYS Commission of Correction as well as the NYS Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the death. The Sheriff’s Office is fully cooperating with the independent reviews, according to the media release.
“We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones,” the release said.
COOERSTOWN — The second day of the Dylan Robinson trial at the Otsego County Courthouse ended Tuesday, June 22, with jury deliberations, after the prosecution rested and the defense chose not to submit any evidence.
Robinson is accused of allegedly killing his father, Kenneth Robinson, and burning his house after a failed robbery attempt. He is charged with second-degree murder, burglary and attempted robbery in the first degree and third-degree arson.
Tuesday morning testimony began with Cory Robinson, 14, who testified that he remembered the night of Oct. 10, 2019 “because that’s the day my dad died.”
Cory Robinson, 12 at the time, was awoken by gunshots in the house.
He said that armed people came in his home wearing blue bandannas and he recognized two of them as his brother Dylan Robinson and Alexander Borggreen. Someone pointed a gun at him and asked for his phone, so he gave it to them.
Afterwards, he and his brother, Aiden, were told to put pillows up to their faces and walked a short distance from the house. They were told to walk back and found their home in flames.
He found Kenneth Robinson’s body when he came back to the house. “When I took the pillow off, I saw my dad,” Cory Robinson said.
COOPERSTOWN – The trial of Dylan Robinson over the alleged murder of his father, Kenneth Robinson, at his Worcester home began Monday, June 21, at the Otsego County Courthouse.
Robinson is accused of attempting to rob his father of about $5,000 in marijuana and cash. Robinson was 15 at the time. Robinson and several other local teens were arrested several days after the murder, as was then 32-year-old Oneonta resident Nicolas Meridy.
Alexander Borggreen, then 16, Anais Soto, then 15, Alexis Lotterman, then 16 and Tatiana Febo, then 17, were also arrested.
All of the defendants with the exception of Robinson pled out; Febo and Lotterman had their cases moved to juvenile court.
The robbery apparently went badly, leading to a physical altercation. Kenneth Robinson suffered two fatal gunshot wounds, one to the head and one to the chest.
Afterwards, the defendants attempted to burn his house down to disguise the murder-robbery.
The first day of the trial was punctuated by a couple of dramatic moments, which mirrored the intensity of the crime itself.
“It’s a very simple case,” District Attorney John Muehl said in his opening statement. “A very straightforward case, very heartbreaking case and very sad.”
State Police announced that they are searching for a teen who went missing on Monday, June 14.
Anjelia Sturtevant, 14, was last seen at her home in Roseboom near Cooperstown.
Sturtevant is 5’2 weighing approximately 190 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink camouflaged pull over sweatshirt and may be carrying a white makeup bag. She has brown hair, brown eyes, an eyebrow piercing above her left eye, a nose piercing on the right side of her nose, pierced ears, a lower lip piercing and a tongue piercing.
Call New York State Police investigators if you have any information on her whereabouts at 607-561-7400.