COOPERSTOWN – A pair of Otsego County men were sentenced Monday, May 10, for their roles in a series of robberies, attempted robberies and an assault that took place during a one-day crime spree April 24, 2020, in and around the city and town of Oneonta.
Brian Ruple, 42, of Otego, received a sentence of seven years in state prison for a second degree assault with a knife that he committed during one of the robberies, at the Kwik-Fill convenience store at 65 Chestnut St. in Oneonta, where he stabbed a clerk in the hand. Ruple will then serve between two-and-a-half to five years for robbery in the third degree.
Otsego County Judge John Lambert said he was sentencing Ruple as a second-time felony offender because Ruple was convicted in Oneida County in 2013 of a class D felony of possession of a dangerous controlled substance.
Ruple’s accomplice, driver Derrick Gray, 42, of Laurens, received a sentence of between two-and-a-half to five years for robbery in the third degree.
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.”
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.
ONEONTA – Police arrested a SUNY Oneonta student after reports of a fight that left the victim with a skull laceration and a brain hemorrhage.
Edward J. Ferrall, 23, Lynbrook, was arrested after police were called to the Westcott parking lot at 2:23 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 following the report of a fight. Further investigation found a group of onlookers surrounding a male who was laying on the ground, having allegedly been struck with a collapsible police-style baton. The victim allegedly jumped up and started chasing Ferrall, and both were stopped by police.
ONEONTA – Three men were arrested and returned to Oneonta to be charged in a burglary at a house on Washington Street in April, according to Oneonta Police.
Teddy Faison, 34, Oneonta, was arrested in July by the Village of Monticello Police Department, while Brian deVaughn Scott Jr., 19 and Nelson Navar Jr., 19, both of Utica, were arrested in Utica and were arraigned in Oneonta City Court last week.
MARYLAND – A 24 year old Maryland man was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend on three occasions over an eight month period, according to State Troopers.
Jesse J. Adams was arrested after troopers were advised of a series of physical assaults that occurred at a home on Dog Hill Road in the Town of Maryland. An investigation determined that during disputes with his girlfriend, Adams had physically assaulted her three times over the last eight months, causing injuries.
MORRIS – A 20 year old man was arrested after attacking an older man with a pair of pruning shears at his home.
Gerard D. Bourgeois, Morris, was arrested after Sheriffs deputies were dispatched to Bassett Hospital for a 62 year old man with suspicious injuries. Their investigation lead them to Bourgeois, where they learned that he had allegedly assaulted the victim with a pair of pruning shears, causing several lacerations to the head.