Police: Suspect’s prints at scene

FONDA- A state police investigator testified Monday that murder defendant Ivan Ramos left fingerprints at the scene of a double homicide in Amsterdam.

Ramos is accused of stabbing and killing William McDermott, 56, and Cheryl Goss, 46, on March 2 at McDermott’s 359 Locust Ave. apartment.

Ramos, 30, of Amsterdam was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Investigator Eric Smith, who handles forensics for the New York State Police Troop G outpost in Loudonville, said palm and fingerprints belonging to Ramos were found on two objects in the apartment – a stool, just feet from where McDermott’s body was found, and a table.

More than 50 other pieces of evidence submitted included a video walk-through of the crime scene, photos, bloody footprints and several DNA samples collected at the crime scene, as well as a pair of Nike sneakers found at 222 Woodrow Road in Amsterdam.

Smith said investigators collected the shoes, as well as pieces of rubber cut away from their soles, while executing a search warrant the evening of March 2.

During Monday’s trial, Ramos at one point asked Judge Felix Catena to let him leave the courtroom, stating he objected to the introduction of the sneakers as evidence. He also complained about his public defender, Mark Juda.

“It’s my life, not his life,” Ramos told Catena, his voice getting louder. “He don’t care what happens to me.”

Ramos questioned the validity of the evidence related to the sneakers.

“There’s no verification it wasn’t tampered with,” Ramos said. “We’re expected to go for word of mouth because [Smith is] a detective? I’m not going to sit here.”

After a heated exchange, Catena warned Ramos he would be punished for any future outbursts.

“Time out,” Catena yelled. “I’m controlling this trial – not you.”

Later Monday, the prosecution presented video footage taken at the crime scene.

As the camera panned to face the hallway, blood streaks were visible on the linoleum floor leading into the apartment. Inside, the bodies of McDermott and Goss were shown. McDermott lay on his stomach, a cellphone open in his hand. He was naked from the waist down, with several stab wounds in his upper thighs. Goss lay a few feet away on her back, dressed, but her clothes soaked in blood. The rest of the apartment appeared to be torn apart, with clothes and personal items lying everywhere.

Members of the victims’ families sobbed as the camera showed the victims.

Cross examination of Smith by Ramos’ attorney, Juda, was scheduled to begin this morning.

Testimony related to the DNA evidence was expected to begin today or Wednesday.

Arthur Cleveland covers Montgomery County news. He can be reached at