AMSTERDAM - Members of Cheryl Goss' family say they knew Ivan Ramos, the man charged in the March 2 stabbing deaths of Goss and William McDermott.
Kelly Fabosokay, daughter of Cheryl Goss, said Ramos was a friend of one of Fabosokay's brothers.
Ramos, 30, of 51 Milton Ave., was indicted Friday on two charges of first-degree murder as well as two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Amsterdam Police Chief Greg Culick speaks during a news conference Monday about the case.
The Leader-Herald/ Arthur Cleveland
Ivan Ramos, who was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, exits a vehicle at the Montgomery County Courthouse to finish his arraignment Monday.
The Leader-Herald/ Arthur Cleveland
The charges are related to the March 2 killing of Goss and McDermott, who were found later that day at McDermott's home at 359 Locust Ave.
At a news conference Monday, city police Detective Lt. Kurt J. Conroy said a lot of work had been put into this case.
"We've been working a long time since March 2 to build a case, and we did it slowly and methodically. The district attorney presented it to the grand jury, thinking we had enough to go for an indictment," Conroy said.
Ramos has an arrest record. He currently faces charges of burglary, robbery, possession of stolen property and home invasion relating to previous cases.
According to Montgomery County District Attorney James "Jed" Conboy, Ramos was out on $25,000 bail in March after he was charged with a home invasion in November. In that case, which goes to trial Oct. 1, Ramos and an alleged accomplice, who has yet to be identified, entered the residence at 210 Guy Park Ave. through a back door and brandished a shotgun, taking electronics items and money before fleeing.
Police said Ramos had been a person of interest in the stabbing deaths since the beginning of the case. Ramos and the victims were acquainted, Conroy said.
Conroy would not talk about a possible motive.
Conboy said the killings occurred during an alleged "criminal transaction." He said there was no indication of a forced entry.
Conboy did not elaborate on the possible "criminal transaction."
New York State Police Senior Investigator David Madden said state police will make no statement on any evidence discovered at the scene.
"That would be up to the prosecutor," Madden said.
Conboy said he agreed with Madden on not disclosing any evidence yet.
"I can confirm that numerous pieces of evidence were turned over to the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center for testing," Madden said. "Those tests take time."
No murder weapon has been found, authorities said.
Family members of Goss sat in the back of the news conference.
Hope Fabosokay, daughter of Goss, said she was not sure what to say.
"It's just not right," she said.
Kelly Fabosokay said she hopes Ramos would get life in prison.
In addition to the November home invasion, Ramos was charged with a separate home invasion that occurred Oct. 28. At approximately 5:40 a.m. that day, a male and a female victim reported two people forcefully entered their apartment at 222 Woodrow St. One of the suspects reportedly "pistol-whipped" the male victim, according to a police report. An unknown amount of cash and a laptop computer were stolen from the residence, police said.
Ramos appeared in court Monday morning to finish his arraignment on the murder charges. Because his public defender, Mark Judah, was late, the arraignment was postponed until today.
Throughout his short appearance in court Monday, Ramos seemed relaxed. He spoke only to confirm he understood the situation.
Conboy said Ramos had asked for an attorney when indicted Friday. Once his arraignment is finished, Conboy said a pretrial schedule will be made as well as a tentative trial date.
Arthur Cleveland is the Montgomery County Reporter. He can be reached at Montco@leaderherald.com.