ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – In a long-awaited update on the Chemung County torture-murder case, one of the four suspect’s case has been adjourned for over a month to review evidence and potentially reach a plea deal.
Thomas Bovaird—the first of four men to be arrested for the kidnapping, torture, disfigurement and murder of Juan Jose Gotay over a year ago—had his case adjourned for 45 days, according to Susan Rider-Ulacco, the Executive Assistant District Attorney for Chemung County. Rider-Ulacco said this adjournment will give the defense time to review the evidence against Bovaird.
She also said it will allow time to see if a plea deal can be reached in the case.
This adjournment is the latest in a number of court appearances, postponements, and virtual appearances of the suspects since their arrests last summer. Bovaird has appeared in court twice since September.
Bovaird was initially indicted by the Chemung County Grand Jury on September 14 for the murder. Less than a week later, two men with a history of kidnapping arrests in Ontario County were also indicted. A teen who was 16 at the time of the kidnapping was then arrested in Georgia seven days after that.
The trials have been months in the making, all stemming from April 2021 when Gotay’s body was found dumped in Potter County, Pa. The following month, authorities raided a house on Partridge Street in Elmira, reportedly digging up the backyard.
The case was silent until September when the four men were arrested. Officials later gave more details, saying the suspects—Bovaird, Malik Weems, Eddie Marte and the teen—were believed to have known Gotay, who was form the New York City area.
Weems and Marte were also indicted for allegedly kidnapping a Joseph Waters in the City of Elmira in April. They were both previously arrested in April for the kidnapping and torturing of another person in Geneva. Officials have yet to say whether the two cases are connected to Gotay’s murder.
18 News will continue to follow the latest developments in this case. Details will be provided as they become available.