Witnesses describe murder scene
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND
FONDA – Testimony in the Ivan “Big Man” Ramos double-murder trial Thursday focused on the scene of the March 2 stabbing deaths of a man and woman at an apartment in Amsterdam.
According to testimony Thursday, two people had found signs of the killings the morning of March 2. Witnesses described a bloody scene.
Ramos is accused of stabbing and killing William McDermott, 56, who lived in the apartment at 359 Locust Ave., and Cheryl Goss, 46, on March 2. Ramos, 30, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Craig McCormick, currently enrolled in Drug Court in Albany, testified he found the bodies of McDermott and Goss after he had gone to the Locust Avenue apartment of McDermott. He said he went there after he heard a party had been going on.
McCormick said he walked into the hallway of the building and found blood and drag marks leading into the apartment. He said he then walked in through the back door of the apartment.
After finding McDermott and Goss dead from multiple stab wounds, he took a potholder from the microwave and unlocked the front door, walking out there, he said.
He said he did not touch anything else in the apartment. He said he then ran to the Reid Street apartment of Terry Dallas Reidy, who called police at 6:04 a.m. and reported what his friend had seen.
Richard Haver, a cabdriver and neighbor of McDermott, came home to his apartment around 5:25 a.m. after work and found the same bloody drag marks in the hallway of the building.
Haver said that after knocking on the front door of McDermott’s apartment and not hearing anything, he went into his apartment and called Amsterdam police.
“There’s [expletive] blood all over the
[expletive] hallway,” he said to Officer Chad Alukonis during a 911 call.
Officer Eduardo Ortiz testified he responded to the call and found the bloody hallway.
Ortiz said he checked for vitals and secured the scene before finding two sets of footprints leading out the back.
Montgomery County District Attorney James “Jed” Conboy had previously said one pair belonged to Ramos and the other to McCormick.
In Wednesday’s opening statements, defense attorney Mark Juda claimed McCormick, who found the bodies, contaminated the scene and that police only investigated Ramos as a suspect based on McCormick’s statements.
Many of Juda’s questions Thursday to police who responded to the scene revolved around their treatment of the scene.
Juda questioned Ortiz several times, asking if he and other units responding had stepped in the blood. Ortiz reported that due to the amount of blood at the scene, it was nearly impossible not to step into it. However, he said, every officer took precautions.
In his testimony, Detective John DiCaprio said police took DNA from McCormick and Ramos. He said the murder weapon has yet to be found and said he personally had not found the alleged camouflage coat Ramos wore that night.
The trial resumed today.
Arthur Cleveland is the Montgomery County reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.