Teen admits guilt in murder case

FONDA – One of two teenagers indicted in the July shooting deaths of two other teenagers pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday.

Matthew Phelps, 16, of Snooks Corners Road, town of Florida, could receive 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in July, according to the office of Fulton County Judge Polly A. Hoye, who is serving as the judge in the Montgomery County case.

Phelps and Anthony Brasmeister, 16, of Belfance Road, Amsterdam, were indicted in December on two counts each of second-degree murder and two counts each of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the slayings of Amsterdam residents Jonathan DeJesus, 13, and Paul Damphier, 16.

Phelps’ sentencing is scheduled for July 11, two days after the one-year anniversary of the killings, Hoye’s office said.

Brasmeister is scheduled to have a hearing April 30 before his trial begins June 17, according to Hoye’s office.

Montgomery County District Attorney James “Jed” Conboy said today Phelps will be a witness during the trial against Brasmeister as part of Phelps’ agreement with the district attorney’s office.

Under the agreement, Phelps’ guilty plea satisfies all other charges in the indictment.

Both Phelps and Brasmeister pleaded not guilty to their charges in January in Montgomery County Court after they were indicted.

Damphier and DeJesus were killed July 9 in a field off Snooks Corners Road in the town of Florida, authorities said.

The two were shot in the torso, authorities said. Their bodies were found July 19.

Brasmeister, who faces 25 years to life in state prison if convicted at trial, is incarcerated at the Montgomery County Jail.

He is represented by Attorney Joseph McCoy.

Phelps is incarcerated in a state juvenile detention facility in Albany, authorities said.

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