Three face upgraded charges in Fort Plain death


FORT PLAIN — Charges brought against three men in connection with the killing of a village man have been upgraded, with two of the men now charged with murder.

Garry L. Sweet III, 38, of Fort Plain, and Eric S. Rivera, 31, of Gloversville, are each charged with second-degree murder. Aaron L. Cockfield, 33, of Johnstown, is charged with second-degree criminal facilitation.

Sweet, Rivera and Cockfield were originally charged in July with fourth-degree conspiracy to commit a violent act and held in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in connection with the June 29 death of 29-year-old Joshua L. LaVeck of 60 Division St.

LaVeck was found dead on the downstairs front porch of his home by another resident of the multi-family residence who called for emergency medical service around 10:16 a.m.

The three men were taken into custody within days of the homicide and the Fort Plain Police Department and state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation announced the upgraded charges on Thursday in a press release.


All three men were arraigned in Minden Town Court on Thursday night and were remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility without bail based on the upgraded charges Fort Plain Police Chief Ryan Austin said today.

Following arraignment on the earlier conspiracy charges, Cockfield and Sweet were ordered to be held without bail and Rivera’s bail at that time was set at $20,000 cash or $50,000 bail bond. Austin said all three subjects were housed at the county jail based on the original charges prior to Thursday’s arraignment.

“There were some rumors that Mr. Rivera had been released based on having bail, that is not correct,” Austin said.

Austin said the charges were upgraded based on evidence that police have gathered thus far and presented to Montgomery County District Attorney Kelli McCoski.

“After consulting with her, she felt it was appropriate to upgrade the charges and we continue to actively work the case on a daily basis,” Austin said.


The cause of LaVeck’s death has been determined, but Austin said that information regarding the ongoing investigation would not be released at this time. He previously stated that he did not believe LaVeck was beaten to death.

According to Austin, police believe that money owed to LaVeck was the motive behind the murder and drugs were not involved. All three men were friends or acquaintances of LaVeck at one time and Rivera lived with the victim in the village at one point.

Anyone with information regarding this case can report it anonymously to Fort Plain police at (518) 993-3781 or to the state police Tip Line at 1-800-SAFENYS.