Alleged killer to stand trial

FONDA – Court proceedings will begin today in the case of an Amsterdam man charged in the March stabbing deaths of two people.

Ivan Ramos, the man charged in the March 2 stabbing deaths of Cheryl Goss and William McDermott, will stand trial in the coming days, with jury selection under way in Montgomery County Court.

Ramos, 30, of 51 Milton Ave., was indicted in September on two charges of first-degree murder as well as two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Ramos was out on $25,000 bail in March after he was charged with a home invasion in November 2011. Amsterdam police said Ramos had been a person of interest in the stabbing deaths since the beginning of the case. Ramos and the victims were acquainted, police said.

Amsterdam police previously said McDermott and Goss were found stabbed to death in McDermott’s apartment.

Police previously said the investigation had mainly hinged on several pieces of possible DNA evidence being analyzed by the state police crime lab. He previously said city police weren’t sure if the motive was “drugs or money.”

The indictment was not the first news of Ramos’ possible connection to the double homicide.

A few days after the bodies were found, Ramos was charged with possession of property stolen from a yard in McDermott’s neighborhood. Though he was not then identified as a suspect in the murders, at the time police said he was interviewed as a potential witness. Police said he had stolen a sheet metal brake from the yard at 288 Locust Ave. in February. The yard is less than two blocks from the home of McDermott.

According to the state Department of Corrections website, Ramos has been incarcerated since August after pleading guilty to criminal possession of stolen property.

Ramos also was found guilty of first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary in October. Amsterdam police said in November 2011 that two male suspects, one later found to be Ramos, entered the residence through a backdoor and were armed with a shotgun, taking an X-box 360 game console, a wireless internet router and money before fleeing through the back. One resident was injured when he fled the apartment through a window and suffered facial lacerations.