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Man charged in Amsterdam murders

September 7, 2012
Staff reports , The Leader Herald

AMSTERDAM - A city man was indicted today on two counts of first-degree murder in connection with a March 2 double homicide on Locust Avenue.

Amsterdam police Detective Lt. Kurt Conroy today said Ivan Ramos, 30, of 222 Woodrow Road, was charged in the slayings of William McDermott, 56, and Cheryl Goss, 46.

Conroy today declined to talk about any motive or a connection between Ramos and McDermott and Goss. He said more details about the arrest will be made public at a news conference at 1 p.m. Monday at the Amsterdam Police Department.

Article Photos

Amsterdam police provided this photo of Ivan Ramos upon one of his previous arrests.

In addition to the murder counts, Ramos also faces two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Amsterdam police previously said McDermott and Cheryl Goss were found stabbed to death in McDermott's apartment. At the time, police said there was blood throughout the apartment.

This summer, Conroy 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."

Amsterdam Police Chief Gregory Culick has said police thought the victims and the killer or killers knew each other. No weapon was found at the scene, but there were signs of a struggle.

Friday's 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.

Previously, in late March, Ramos had been arrested and sent to the Montgomery County Jail in connection with a home invasion that happened in October 2011. In that case, he was charged with burglary and robbery, both felonies.

Montgomery County District Attorney James E. "Jed" Conboy, who presented the double-murder case to the grand jury that indicted Ramos, couldn't be reached this morning for comment.

Editor's note: This is a breaking story. It has been updated from the version in today's print edition to reflect new information provided by the Amsterdam Police Department and additional background details from previous reports.



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