News of Otsego County

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


Decatur news

Laurie Lynn Decker-Hill, 33; Son, Daughter in Decatur Among Survivors

IN MEMORIAM: Laurie Lynn Decker-Hill, 33;

Son, Daughter in Decatur Among Survivors

Laurie Lynn Decker Hill

DECATUR – Laurie Lynn Decker-Hill, 33, passed away unexpectedly on March 28, 2020.

Laurie was a beautiful person inside and out she had a heart of gold. Laurie grew up in Decatur she loved roaming around in the woods around her house. Laurie was a very happy go lucky person. She had a beautiful smile.

Laurie was born December 11, 1986, at Fox Hospital, to David and Cynthia Decker Sr.

Steeley Not Guilty In Twins’ Death


Mom Not Guilty

In Twins’ Deaths

By LIBBY CUDMORE •  Special to

Kimberly Steeley weeps in attorney Andrew Van Buren’s arms after the “not guilty” verdict was read by the jury foreman. (Libby Cudmore/

COOPERSTOWN – In just over three hours, a jury found Kimberly Steeley, 27, Decatur, not guilty in the June 2018 deaths of her infant twins, Bonde and Liam.

Steeley’s attorney, Andrew Van Buren, made the case that the babies died of SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – in part, because they had come home from the hospital too soon. Both babies were preemies; Bonde, was just over 4 pounds when she died, and that Liam, who died 11 days later, was 5.14 pounds.

On Friday, March 6, Steeley testified that although she did fall asleep in bed with both of them on the nights they died, at no point was her body, bedding or clothing obstructing their airways.

Jury Begins Deliberations In Death Of Twins

Jury Begins Deliberations

In Worcester Twins’ Deaths

District Attorney John Muehl, left, lays out his case for a guilty verdict in the trial of Kimberly Steeley, charged with manslaughter in the deaths of her infant twins, Bonde and Liam, in June 2018, as part of closing arguments in Otsego County Court this morning. “This is a very sad case,” he said. “She lost her twins. But she made the decision to use drugs and sleep with her children, and the evidence says she is guilty.” Seated, at right, is defense attorney Andrew Van Buren, Hobart, and Steeley. In his closing statements, Van Buren pointed out the consistency across statements made by the Steeley family, including her mother, Arlene and her father, Christopher, while hammering the testimony of Thomas Hewitt and theorizing that the babies were brought home from the hospital too soon. “Bonde weighed four pounds, seven ounces when she died,” he said. “She was never going to make it, whether she was in a bed or a bassinet. She was going to die because the doctors sent her home from the hospital too soon.” Deliberations began just after noon. (Libby Cudmore/
Did Mother Asphyxiate  Twins – Or Did Father? Open Statements Set Up Scenario: Which Drugged Parent Responsible?

Did Mother Asphyxiate 

Twins – Or Did Father?

Opening Statements Set Up Scenario:

Which Drugged Parent Responsible?

The manslaughter trial of Kim Steeley, 27, of Decatur – seen weeping in court today – opened with two contrasting scenarios in Otsego County Court this morning. In his opening statement, District Attorney John Muehl blamed the mother for the June 2018 deaths of twins Liam and Bonde, born prematurely: “The real problem was, she (Steeley) was high and she nodded off on these children. In her altered state, she suffocated them.” But in his opening statement, defense lawyer Andrew Van Buren, Hobart, pointed out the father of the twins, Tommy Hewitt, was sleeping in the same bed, and had been furious when he learned Steeley was pregnant, punching her and chipping a tooth.  Still, Hewitt only leveled charges against Steeley after he was arrested under the influence and was looking for leverage, the lawyer said. “He’ll retract everything he said,” added Van Buren.  Both Steeley and Hewitt are expected to testify.  Both, according to the lawyers, were using Suboxone, an intoxicant used to wean drug users from hard drugs.  Inset are twins, Liam, a boy, and Bonde, a girl.  (Jim Kevlin/

Worcester Mother Arrested In Twins’ Deaths


Mother Arrested

In Twin’s Deaths

A Town of Worcester woman, Kimberly N. Steeley, 27, Decatur, was arrested Wednesday, May 8, accused in the death of her twin infant children, Liam and Bonde Steeley, it was announced this morning.

County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr., District Attorney John M. Muehl and state police announced the two-count  Grand Jury Sealed Indictment.  She was charged with two counts of manslaughter, second degree, a class C felony, for recklessly causing the death of another.

Kimberly Steeley was arraigned on Wednesday and remanded to the Otsego County Jail on $10,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 3.

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