News of Otsego County

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


Jacelyn O’Connor

Norwich Man Pleads Guilty In Covering Up Girl’s Murder


Norwich Man Gets 4 Years

In Covering Up Girl’s Murder

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Jacelyn O’Connor

NORWICH – When arrested after the slaying of Jacelyn O’Connor, 11, James Brower told police, “Just kill me.”

Instead, Brower, accused of helping his boyfriend Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding rape and kill the Morris girl, will serve a maximum of four and half years after pleading guilty Friday to a felony count of first-degree hindering prosecution in Chenango County Court.

According to reports, he could serve as little at 18 months.

Rundstrom-Wooding Gets 20-to-Life For Jacelyn’s Rape, Murder

20-To-Life Sentence

In 11-Year-Old’s Death

Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding accepts a 20-to-life sentence for the rape and murder of Jacelyn O’Connor, 11, last August. With him is attorney Scott Clippenger. (Photo Credit, Amy Hogan, WICZ)

NORWICH – Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding, 34, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the 2017 rape and murder of 11-year-old Jacelyn O’Connor, Morris, at the trailer he shared with his boyfriend, James Brower, this afternoon in Chenango County court.

Accused Killers Plead ‘Not Guilty’ in Chenango County Court

Accused Killers Plead Not Guilty

In Chenango County Courtroom

Represented by Public Defender John Cameron, James Brower entered a “not guilty” plea in Chenango County Court this morning. (Pool Photo by Tyler Murphy/Evening Sun)
Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding also entered a not guilty plea.

NORWICH – James Brower and Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding, both accused of murdering 11-year old Jacelyn O’Connor, each entered “not guilty” pleas during their arraignments in Chenango County Court, according to WKTV.

The two, who are a couple, allegedly smothered Jacelyn to death in the act of raping her in their home during the early morning hours of July 30. They were indicted in Chenango County Court last week.


Morris Mourns

A pair of angel wings hang on the school sign as more than 200 community members gathered at the steps of Morris Central School this evening for a candle light vigil in remembrance of Jacelyn O’Connor. Pastor Brad Keator of the Chenango Christian Church led the gathered in prayers and singing “Amazing Grace”. Friends, family and classmates shared  memories of Jacelyn after releasing heart-shaped balloons into the sky. (Ian Austin/
Jacelyn O’Connor, 11, Morris; Would Have Entered 6th Grade

Jacelyn O’Connor, 11, Morris;

Would Have Entered 6th Grade

Jacelyn O’Connor

MORRIS – Jacelyn O’Connor of Morris went to meet the angels on July 30, 2017, at the age of 11 years old.  She was born on April 6, 2006.

She is survived by her loving mother, Rebecca Hamm of Morris, and several brothers and sisters: Rachael Edney, Shianne Hamm and Nick Hill, Devin O’Connor, Alex Gilbert, Wyatt Gilbert, DJ Fields and Lisa Van Why, Kareem Gale and Amanda Cruz, Khaliq Gale, Jacoyia Byrne, Noah Brower, Chris Brower and Brandon Brower.

Others In House When Girl Was Murdered, DA Alleges


DA: Others In House

When Girl Murdered

Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding
James R. Brower

NORWICH – Other people were present in the house while Jacelyn D. O’Connor, 11, was allegedly raped and smothered, according to Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride.

The names and ages of those present were not given during a hearing for Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding, 34, Norwich, where the DA charged him with murder in the first degree in O’Connor’s death and remanded without bail.The felony complaint lists him as “acting in concert with another in the course and commission of rape in the first degree.”




Tobias Rundstrom

NORWICH – State troopers today arrested a second man in the death of an 11-year-old Morris girl Sunday in a Town of Norwich mobile home.

Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding, 34, of Norwich, is the second person charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jacelyn D. O’Connor, state police reported in a press release today.

A first suspect, James Brower, 36, has also been charged with murder in this case, and testimony at his hearing in Norwich Town Court indicated she had died while being raped.   The charge could bring a sentence of life in prison.

Details About Girl’s Death Emerge At Court Hearing

Details About Girl’s Death

Emerge At Court Hearing

James Brower is led into Norwich Town Court yesterday, where he faced a murder charge in the death of an 11-year-old Morris girl. (Courtesy WKTV)

NORWICH – In Norwich Town Court yesterday, Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride said Jacelyn D. O’Connor, 11, of Morris, was smothered with a pillow during Sunday’s alleged rape that led to her death, according to WKTV.  In a subsequent press conference, he said the girl was half-sister of James Brower’s children; Brower, 36, Town of Norwich, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the girl’s death.


11-Year-Old Girl Died In Course Of Rape, Investigator Alleges

11-Year-Old Girl Died In Course

Of Rape, Investigator Alleges

NORWICH – The 11-year-old Morris girl stricken with cardiac arrest in a Town of Norwich home Sunday died “in the course and commission of rape in the first degree,” State Police Investigator Jamieson Tefft alleges in a felony complaint released today by Norwich Town Court.

The suspect in the death of Jacelyn D. O’Connor of Morris, James S. Brower, 36, arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder, is due to appear again in Norwich Town Court at 9 a.m. tomorrow for a felony hearing.

A vigil in Jacelyn’s memory is planned at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, outside Morris Central School, where she was a student.

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