(WETM) – Officials in Chemung County continue to release new information in a disturbing torture-murder case that has left one man dead and three suspects in custody.
The timeline of events continues to develop publicly with holes still left to be filled by officials in and out of the courtroom.
Here is the timeline of events in the Chemung County torture-murder case as we know them.
January 29 or 30, 2021
Juan Jose Gotay, 38, of New York City is allegedly kidnapped in Chemung County by Thomas Bovaird, Eddie Marte, and Malik Weems.
According to court documents, Gotay was subjected to multiple traumatic injuries caused by his kidnappers, including gunshot wounds to his shoulder and leg; permanent and mutilating injuries to his eyes caused by a pointed instrument; burns that caused disfigurement to his ears and buttocks; mutilating injuries to his tongue, injuries to his jaw, mouth, and teeth caused by repeated kicking and beating; and multiple broken ribs and fingers.
According to the indictment, Gotay was still alive when his kidnappers left his body in Pennslyvania.
April 5, 2021
Juan Jose Gotay’s body is found over an embankment along Route 6 in Potter County, Pennsylvania. The case is picked up by the Pennsylvania State Police’s Major Case Team and little information is released by officials.
April 6-7, 2021
Malik Weems and Eddie Marte allegedly kidnap and hold a man for ransom for more than 12 hours in Chemung County.
April 27, 2021
Malik Weems and Eddie Marte are arrested in Ontario County, New York in connection to a separate kidnapping-torture case.
Investigators say the Ontario County victim was punched and kicked in the face and torso, beaten with belts and cords, and burned with a hot knife.
Investigators in Ontario County say police found a stolen handgun, another handgun, 1 pound of crystal methamphetamine, 1.4 pounds of heroin, 1 ounce of suspected cocaine, and $5,000 cash while executing three search warrants in the case. They say the drugs alone are worth roughly $75,000.
May 5-7, 2021
New York State Police begin combing through two homes in the City of Elmira that are now connected to this case.
The Partridge Street and West Ave. homes are blocked off with police tape for several days and investigators in white suits brought items in and out of the home and dug up the surrounding yards.
September 14, 2021
Thomas Bovaird of Horseheads is arrested and indicted for the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Juan Jose Gotay. Bovaird was indicted for first-degree murder, kidnapping in the first degree, two counts of assault in the first degree, and two counts of assault in the second degree.
September 20, 2021
The Chemung County District Attorney’s Office announces the arrest and indictments of Malik Weems and Eddie Marte in connection to the Chemung County torture-murder case.
Marte and Weems were arrested in the Ontario County Jail in connection to the Chemung County case.
In Chemung County, Weems and Marte have been indicted for first degree murder, four counts of first degree kidnapping, and two counts each of first and degree assault. The indictment covers the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Gotay as well as the kidnapping of Waters.
September 24, 2021
An unnamed 17-year-old man is arrested in Georgia in connection to the kidnapping and death of Gotay.
The suspect was arrested by authorities and extradited to New York where he was placed in a youthful offender facility.
October 4, 2021
Steuben County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore and the New York State Police hold a press conference to discuss the case and recent arrests. Wetmore confirms that Gotay knew his alleged kidnappers, but doesn’t provide any information regarding a motive or why Gotay was in Elmira.
Wetmore also confirms that the incident involving Joseph Waters occurred at 1122 S. Main Street in Elmira.
October 22, 2021
Thomas Bovaird appears in the Chemung County Court for pre-trial motions. According to a reporter outside the courthouse, Bovaird is brought in around 9:45 a.m.
Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore tells 18 News that the October 22 appearance is just a procedural status update and that Bovaird’s next appearance will be December 17.
Marte and Weems are also scheduled to appear in court next month.
November 5, 2021
18-year-old Malik Weems appears in the Chemung County Court for pre-trial motions. He is seen being walked into the building just before 10 a.m.
Weems is scheduled to next appear in court on December 17, the same day as Thomas Bovaird.
December 3, 2021
Eddie Marte, 25, is scheduled to appear in court on December 3 after his November appearance was postponed.
March 11, 2022
Thomas Bovaird appears in court for the third time after a January virtual appearance. According to the Chemung County Executive Assistant District Attorney, Bovaird’s case is adjourned for another 45 days to allow the defense time to review evidence. the ADA also says it will allow time for a possible plea deal to be reached.
August 5, 2022
The cases for Thomas Bovaird, Eddie Marte, and Malik Weems are delayed until mid-to-late September at the request of the defense counsel, according to the Chemung County District Attorney’s Office.
February 16, 2023
Eddie Marte, having already pled guilty to kidnapping, robbery, burglary, weapons possession and drug possession for the April 27, 2021 Geneva case, is sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is taken to Attica Correctional Facility in Western New York.
May 5, 2023
Two years to the day after police swept houses on Elmira’s southside in connection to the case, Malik Weems pleads guilty to 2nd-degree Murder. He also pleads guilty to 1st-degree Kidnapping for the April 27 Geneva case. Marte, who is in prison already for the Ontario County case, also appears in court for the Gotay murder but doesn’t enter a plea.
June 8, 2023
Thomas Bovaird pleads guilty to 2nd-degree Murder in Chemung County Court. He accepts a sentence of 18 years to life in prison.
18 News will continue to develop this timeline of events as officials release more details.