OXFORD – At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Sept. 29, Chenango County Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting Jr. released the names of a man and a woman who each stand charged with murder with regard to the investigation of the death of a 58-year-old man in Oxford over the weekend of Sept. 23 and 24.
Jeremy P. Coates, 46, of Norwich, stands charged with murder in the first degree, a class A-1 felony, for intentionally causing a death during the commission of a robbery.
Melissa Crispell, 42, of Oxford, is charged with second-degree murder, a class A-1 felony, as well as providing a false written statement, a class A misdemeanor; and resisting arrest, also a class A misdemeanor.
According to Cutting, Coates was arrested during the execution of a search warrant at his residence on Sheldon St., in the City of Norwich, by the New York State Police Special Response Team. Crispell was arrested a day earlier, and was subsequently charged with murder in the second degree on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Both Coates and Crispell were arraigned in the Village of Oxford court on Thursday evening, and both were remanded to the Chenango County Correctional Facility without bail.
Crispell waived her right to a felony hearing, while Coates is scheduled to reappear in the Village of Oxford court next Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 9 a.m.
The arrests follow a 3-day investigation, involving multiple agencies, where authorities tracked down over 100 leads.
“Teamwork is what this was all about,” said Cutting. “Putting (together) all the cases, writing down all of the leads. Ensuring the safety of everyone. All of the suspects in this homicide have been apprehended, and will be incarcerated this evening.”
The investigation began when the CCSO was called to a report of a deceased male at his residence. When they arrived, authorities found David Green dead at his home on Charles Kelley Road, in the Town of Oxford, on Monday afternoon.
After an autopsy was conducted on the victim at the Onondaga Medical Center on Tuesday, Sept. 27, his death was officially ruled a homicide.
Cutting said that the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.
When explaining how the victim was found days after he was allegedly murdered, Cutting said, “It's a very close community on Gerry Lake. Some neighbors hadn't seen him, and one neighbor talked to another neighbor. They went to check on him, they found him, and then called 911.”
Cutting also said that the attack on the victim was 'almost certainly' orchestrated as a surprise, and that the suspects were most likely motivated by monetary reasons, but there was also other items that they were interested in. He referred to Green as a 'target of opportunity.'
Search warrants were issued and served at four locations and forensic investigators also processed five separate locations. No addresses of where the warrants were executed were provided.
Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride thanked all of the law enforcement officials for their hard work during the investigation, and explained that after each suspect has a felony hearing, their case will be brought before a grand jury, if necessary, in the next 45 days.
You can check out a live video recap of the press conference that was held at the Chenango County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 4:30 p.m. regarding the murder at The Evening Sun's Facebook page.
Ashley Babbitt Photo