“Normally, if it was someone with no criminal history, I might have charged them with a misdemeanor if they agreed to pay restitution,” said Meuhl. “But because of who the victim was, I insisted on a felony. You don’t steal from the food pantry.”
Also accused in the murder and burglary, first degree, were Alexander Borgreen, 16, and Anais Soto, 15.
All three are Oneonta High School students.
“The facts established that Robinson, Borgreen and Soto were in the residence at the time of the shooting,” District Attorney John Muehl told County Judge John Lambert. “They all had weapons. It doesn’t matter that some of them didn’t pull the trigger; they’re just as guilty.”
ONEONTA – With a motion to suppress evidence rejected this morning, Gabriel Truitt, charged with the murder of John Heller after he allegedly lit his girlfriend’s Walling Avenue apartment on fire, will stand trial in Otsego County Court Jan. 20. 2020.
During a hearing this morning in front of county Court Judge Brian Burns, Truitt’s lawyer Dennis Laughlin submitted motions to suppress photos and video taken inside of Truitt’s Tru Cuts that allegedly showed him taking the chemicals allegedly used to start the fire at 5 Walling Ave.
ONEONTA – Three men who allegedly grabbed an Oneonta woman off the street and threw her into a van before demanding money were indicted on felony charges of kidnapping and robbery in Otsego County court yesterday, according to District Attorney John Muehl.
Erankie Liberata-Garcie, 24, Erick Tavares, 33 and James Semidey, 26, all of the Bronx, were arrested in May after Oneonta Police received a report from neighbors on Watkins Avenue that claim they saw two men grab a woman off the street and thrown into a white cargo van.
ONEONTA – An 88-year-old Laurens woman got a call, purportedly from Cooperstown Police: Her granddaughter had been in an accident, she was fine, but her car had been impounded and she needed $4,000 in cash to get it out.
The woman was instructed to wrap the money in a sweater and mail it to Staten Island. She did so, shipping the package overnight from The Shipping Room in Oneonta. But when the same person called back and asked for four Home Depot cards, she asked, “Is this a scam?”
“The person on the other end of the line said ‘Thanks for playing’ and hung up,” said Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer.
COOPERSTOWN – A former home health aide was arraigned in Otsego County Court today on charges that she stole more than $33,000 from an elderly couple over 15 months when they were in her care.
Stephanie Shulgay, 32, plead “Not guilty” to the third-degree grand larceny charges, filed by a grand jury. It is alleged that she stole the money from the couple by using their credit and debit cards between July 2017 and October 2018, while working as a home health aide.
“You can’t just breach someone’s trust like that,” said District Attorney John Muehl.
According to the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department, Shulgay allegedly used the money to pay bills for herself and an elderly uncle.
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.”
TOWN OF MIDDLEFIELD – The sister of Kevin A. Perry came home on the evening of Tuesday Dec. 12 to find both of her parents dead on the floor of their Laurens trailer home, county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. reported at a press conference this afternoon at the county jail.
Both were killed by gunshots, and Kevin Perry, 23, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his parents, Timothy A. Perry, 59, and Solveige E. Perry, 52.
COOPERSTOWN – Casey Callahan, 52, who was found guilty of the January 2000 murder of his wife Elizabeth Welsh in the county’s first murder trial in decades, was sentenced to 25-to-life by Judge John F. Lambert during his hearing yesterday on Otsego County Court.
“It’s the maximum sentence, and I’m satisfied,” said District Attorney John Muehl. “This was a cold, calculated, pre-meditated murder.”
“I ask the court to consider the magnitude and impact of this crime that took Elizabeth’s life and what it has done to her son and family,” said her sister, Marie Valentine, in a statement to the judge. “I would ask your honor to consider sentencing Casey Callahan to the maximum sentence under the law, as any time he spends incarcerated is nothing compared to what he did to Elizabeth and what her family has and will experience in our lifetime.”
COOPERSTOWN – A jury this morning found Casey Callahan guilty of murder in the second degree for the Jan.19, 2000 death of his wife, Elizabeth Welsh Callahan.
The verdict came in around 11:30 a.m. District Attorney John Muehl prosecuted the case throughout the week, calling 21 witnesses. In the final hours of the trial yesterday morning, Callahan himself was called to the stand by his attorney, William Schebaum.
ANATOMY OF A MURDER TRIAL
DAY ONE: Monday, Sept. 11
• IN OPENING REMARKS, District Attorney Muehl paraphrases suspect Callahan: “I can kill someone and get away with it.”
• TRUCK DRIVER George Borrowdale describes witnessing Callahan’s rig running over wife Elizabeth
COOPERSTOWN – With a total 22 witnesses called, including suspect Casey Callahan, the prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments in the murder trial against Callahan, who was charged with killing his wife, Elizabeth Welsh Callahan, at a truck stop on January 19, 2000.
“Four tires ran directly down the center of her body,” said District Attorney John Muehl in his closing statement. “I submit you can’t do that by accident. This plan was tailor-made for Elizabeth.”
But Callahan’s defense argued that the jury is tasked with deciding if jurisdiction allowed Elizabeth’s death in Pennsylvania, which Callahan maintained was an accident, could be prosecuted in New York. “There is no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that this case belongs in New York State,” said William Schebaum, Callahan’s attorney. “I urge you not to allow speculation, emotion, or even a dislike of the defendant to be a substitute to fact.”