News of Otsego County

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

Otsego County District Attorney

Muehl: Decatur Twins Died Of Asphyxiation





By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to


DECATUR – Kimberly Steeley’s infant twins, Bonde and Liam, both died from asphyxiation, according to District Attorney John Muehl.

“At first, everyone thought Bonde died of SIDS,” said Muehl. “Then 11 days later, Liam died of the same condition.”

Steeley, 27, Decatur, was indicted on two counts of second-degree manslaughter, one for each child, for recklessly causing the death of her children last June. The twins, born May 15, were barely a month old at the time of their deaths.

SPCA, Sheriff, DA Form Animal Cruelty Task Force

SPCA, Sheriff, District Attorney

Form Animal Cruelty Task Force

John Muehl, Otsego County District Attorney, Stacie Haynes. executive director of the Susquehanna SPCA and Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. have partnered to begin establishing an Animal Cruelty Task Force, aimed at preventing, educating and empowering law enforcement on how to deal with animal cruelty cases.

COOPERSTOWN – The Susquehanna SPCA will partner with the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office to look at creating a task force dedicated to combating animal cruelty in the county.

“In addition to having a system in place for when we do have animal cruelty cases involving animal seizures, we plan to educate and empower law enforcement and the public about the humane treatment of animals and what we can do if we suspect cruelty,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director of the Susquehanna SPCA, in a statement.




D.A. Says Former Goodyear Lake

Man Killed Wife In Pennsylvania

Casey Callahan
Casey Callahan

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.”

Worcester Man Arrested With Heroin, Coke, Gun

Worcester Man Arrested

With Heroin, Coke, Gun

Three-Time Offender Faces Life In Prison

Cash, drugs and weapons were seized yesterday in a the Worcester mobile home of Paul James Velleca, a convicted felon.
Police said these cash, drugs and weapons were seized yesterday from a the Worcester mobile home of Paul James Velleca, a convicted felon.
James Velleca
Paul James Velleca

WORCESTER – Investigators with the Otsego County District Attorney’s Office partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to take down an alleged drug trafficker and three-time felon in the Town of Worcester.

Paul James Velleca, 45, was arrested yesterday after a no-knock warrant was served following an investigation put in place by Town Supervisor Donald L. Lindberg, who reported suspicious activity at Velleca’s mobile home.

Fly Creek Man Arrested After Selling Heroin To Cops

Fly Creek Man Is Accused

 Of Selling Heroin To Cops

FLY CREEK – A Fly Creek man was arrested for selling heroin to two undercover investigators as part of a six-month joint investigation by the Otsego County District Attorney’s office, Cooperstown Police Department and the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department.

In an announcement, authorities alleged Daniel West Cleaveland Jr., 25, sold heroin to investigators from the D.A.’s office on Jan. 14 and March 11.  He was arrested this morning, charged with two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the third degree, a class-B felony.

Milford Man Arrested For Child Rape

Milford Man Charged With Child Rape

MILFORD – A 45-year-old Milford man was arrested and charged with child rape after the Otsego County District Attorney’s office received information that he was abusing an underage female, it was announced over the weekend.

Kevin William Blush was arrested April 29 after investigators at the DA’s office received a tip that he was having sexual contact with a girl under the age of 15.

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