Even So, Arson Suspect Faces 25 To Life
COOPERSTOWN – In county court today, District Attorney John L. Muehl offered Gabriel Truitt, 33, a chance to plead guilty to one of two counts – second-degree murder – in the Dec. 29 arson death in Oneonta of former city firefighter John Heller.
“I offered that on the record,” said Muehl, “to try to save the (Heller) family from going through a trial.”
Truitt faces two count in the fatal Walling Avenue fire: first-degree murder, which requires a sentence of life without parole, or the second-degree count, which would bring a sentence of 25 to life if Truitt were found guilty, the D.A. said.
Truitt will be back in court July 5, and Muehl said he expects the judge, Brian Burns, will want a decision from the accused at that time.