ONEONTA – Ricky Knapp, the man convicted of the 1977 death of SUNY Oneonta student, has died in Mohawk Correctional Facility, according to prison records.
Knapp, 66, died March 8, having served 40 years of a 25-to-life sentence for a 1978 manslaughter conviction in the death of 18-year-old Linda Velzy, a SUNY student from Long Island. According to reports, Velzy was last seen Dec. 9 1977, hitchhiking in downtown Oneonta.
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.
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.”
NORWICH – State Police are investigating the murder of an 11-year-old Morris girl at a home in Norwich.
Jacelyn D. O’Connor, Morris, was found dead after state police responded to a report that a girl had suffered a heart attack at a home at 961 County Route 33, Town of Norwich. Further investigation determined O’Connor was the victim of a homicide, according to the Troop C press release.
NEW LISBON – Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies have taken a man into custody following the death of a 63-year-old man at his home in the Town of New Lisbon.
Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. said that a call came in to Otsego County 911 around 8:45 p.m. and that deputies were sent to the scene, where they found the 63 year old man deceased of a suspected homicide. A suspect was later taken into custody.
COOPERSTOWN – After 16 years, Casey James Callahan, 50, has been arrested and charged with the murder of his wife, Elizabeth.
Otsego County District Attorney John M. Muehl annouced a few minutes ago he believes that Callahan, a Unadilla native, originated the plan to kill his wife while they were living in Goodyear Lake. On Jan. 19, 2000, according to a press release, Callahan ran over Elizabeth with a tractor trailer in the parking lot of the Dandy Mini Mart # 19 in Sayre, Pa., just off Route 17’s Exit 59A at Wilawan, west of Binghamton.
“We believe he took her there to kill her,” said Muehl. “We believe the intent originated here in Otsego County.”