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Teens indicted in double slaying

Murder counts lodged in town of Florida case

December 21, 2012
ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

FONDA - A Montgomery County grand jury has indicted two teenagers on murder and weapons charges in the July 9 killings of two other teenagers in a field in the town of Florida.

Matthew Phelps, 15, of Snooks Corners Road, town of Florida, and Anthony Brasmeister, 16, of Belfance Road, Amsterdam, were indicted Thursday 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, according to the office of District Attorney James "Jed" Conboy.

Conboy said Brasmeister and Phelps will be tried as adults.

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He said the defendants will be arraigned Jan. 3 in Montgomery County Court in Fonda before Acting County Court Judge Polly A. Hoye, her office said today. Hoye is normally a Fulton County Court judge, but acting state Supreme Court Justice Guy Tomlinson and Montgomery County Court Judge Felix Catena both recused themselves from the case.

Conboy declined to discuss a motive or motives in the killing of DeJesus and Damphier, saying a motive likely will come out at trial. He said his office doesn't want to discuss the investigation ahead of the trial.

Conboy said Brasmeister - who faces 25 years to life in state prison if convicted at trial - is currently incarcerated at the Montgomery County Jail. He said Phelps - who faces nine years to life in state prison if convicted at trial - is incarcerated in a state juvenile detention facility in Albany.

According to police, Phelps and Brasmeister took DeJesus and Damphier into a field off Snooks Corners Road in the town of Florida on July 9 near the property of Phelps' grandparents. According to police, DeJesus and Damphier were shot with a rifle in their torsos and left in the field. The bodies were found July 19.

Authorities have not released a photo of Phelps.



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