NORWICH – On Friday, 18-year-old Cody D. Coleman was charged for allegedly murdering his 16-year-old girlfriend with a shotgun on May 3, in the Town of Smithville.
Officials said Monday a medical report confirmed the victim was killed by a shot to the head. They also said there are no other suspects in the case.
Appearing in court, Coleman listened to the charges as they were unveiled by Chenango County Court Judge Frank Revior Jr. through a sealed grand jury indictment. The grand jury indicted Coleman for second-degree murder, a Class A felony; first-degree criminal use of a firearm, a Class B felony; and fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor.
Asked why investigators did not make an immediate arrest, Chenango County District Attorney Michael Ferrarese said, “You need to gather the evidence, and in this particular case, we were waiting for certain forensic results and pathology results to be determined. Since the defendant was being held in jail on a unrelated matter it gave us an opportunity to perform our jobs with those considerations.”
A few days after the death investigation began Coleman was charged with violating his probation in Smithville Town Court and placed in the Chenango County Correctional Facility without bail.
Ferrarese said from early on in the investigation Coleman was the only possible suspect in the case. “There was no doubt as to who the shooter was,” said Ferrarese.
The DA also confirmed that according to information from the recent autopsy, the victim in the case died after a gunshot to the head. The DA said the murder weapon was a 16-gauge shotgun.
Ferrarese said Coleman is looking at 25 years to life behind bars if convicted of the top charges.