The first of four suspects charged with the January 2021 torture and murder of a New York man in Elmira has become the second to plead guilty.
Thomas Bovaird, 23, of Horseheads, pleaded guilty Thursday in Chemung County Court to a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 29, 2021 death of 39-year-old Juan Jose Gotay.
The plea satisfied the indictment against Bovaird, which initially included charges of first degree murder, first degree kidnapping, first degree assault and three counts of second degree assault.
Another suspect in the case, Malik M. Weems, 20, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in early May to second-degree murder, also satisfying the indictment against him.
Court cases are still ongoing against the other two defendants – Eddie Marte, 27, of New York, and a fourth suspect, who was 16 at the time of Gotay’s death, and is on trial for murder and other counts. charge in Chemung County Court. Youth component.
Marte is already incarcerated at Attica Correctional Facility following his conviction for multiple crimes in an unrelated Ontario County kidnapping case.
Gotay was beaten and tortured at two houses on the south side of Elmira, 427-429 Partridge St. and 319 West Ave., according to the indictments.
Gotay was tortured and killed “in a particularly cruel and wanton manner”, according to the indictment.
The indictments allege that the group shot Gotay in the left shoulder and left leg, struck him repeatedly in the face and body, causing him, among other things, traumatic injuries to the head, including jaw, mouth and teeth, as well as multiple broken ribs and fingers.
They are also accused of stabbing the victim in the eye with a sharp object, mutilating his tongue, burning his ears and buttocks, and tying him up with an electric cord.
They then reportedly dumped Gotay’s body in a remote area along U.S. Route 6 in Ulysses Township, Potter County, where his remains were discovered in April 2021.
No motive for Gotay’s murder has ever been made public.
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Under the terms of his plea deal, Bovaird will serve a minimum of 18 years in state prison, with a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Chemung County Judge Ottavio Campanella scheduled sentencing for September 8 and committed Bovaird to Chemung County Jail until that date.
Weems, who also faces 18 years to life in prison, is expected to be sentenced on July 14.
He had also previously pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping after admitting to abducting a man in early April 2021 with the intention of compelling a third party to pay a ransom.
Weems faces at least 15 years for that conviction, to be served concurrently with the murder conviction.
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This article originally appeared on Elmira Star-Gazette: Second Suspect Pleads Guilty in Elmira’s Torture and Murder of New York Man