UPDATE (11/7/19 12:00 P.M.)- It has been confirmed that multiple search warrants were a huge help in the capturing of the suspect, Alan Schultheis, in the Hornell murder case.

18 News contacted the Hornell Police Department and spoke with Inv. Thomas Aini, who confirmed that there were four search warrants involved with the process of arresting Schultheis.

The warrants were conducted on the crime scene, his vehicle, his person, and his vehicle.

The warrants were a huge reason why authorities were able to apprehend Schultheis within thirty minutes of the 9-1-1 call and make an arrest no more than eight hours later.

Schultheis pleaded not guilty in his first appearance at the Hornell City Court. He currently is being held in the Steuben County Jail without bail.

UPDATE (11/6/19 2:45 P.M.) – The obituary for Jay Sprague, along with a photo has been released for public viewing.

The obituary reads:

Jay Richard Sprague, 60, of 65 Elm Street, passed away Monday (November 4, 2019) at his home.

Born in North Hornell, September 14, 1959, the son of Robert and Lena Wraight Sprague, he had resided in the Hornell area for several years. He will be remembered for his love of animals, especially horses.

He was predeceased by his parents, and his brother; John C. Sprague.

He is survived by his sisters; Joan (Brian) Holmes of Arizona, and Janice (Jesse) Montoya of Maryland, his brothers; Jerry (Betty) Sprague of Arkport, James Sprague of Texas, Jeffrey Sprague of North Carolina, Joseph Sprague of Virginia and Jason (Marie) Sprague of North Carolina. Several nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles.

To send a remembrance to the family, please visit www.brownandpowersfuneralhomes.com or on Facebook@brownpowersfh. The family is being assisted by Gerald R. Brown, Director

The family will be present to receive friends at the Bender – Brown & Powers Funeral Home, 354 Canisteo St, Hornell on Saturday from 4 PM until 6 PM. Funeral services will be held following calling hours at 6 PM with Rev, Bruce Incze officiating. Burial will be in Heritage Hill Cemetery, Arkport.

Friends may make memorial contributions to: Camp Star c/o Hornell Rotary Club, PO Box 415, Hornell, NY 14843. Memorial envelopes will be available at the funeral home.


UPDATE (11/5/19 12:38 P.M.) – The Arc of Steuben has released a statement regarding the murder of Jay Sprague, a 60-year-old resident at a Hornell facility.

Caretaker Alan Schultheis, 65, was arrested and charged for Sprague’s death.

The statement can be read below.

The safety and well-being of the people we serve in this community is and continues to be, our utmost priority. All of us at The Arc of Steuben are shocked and saddened by yesterday’s occurrence. I assure you that we are cooperating fully with the authorities on this matter and will do whatever we can to ensure a thorough and effective investigation. Grief counselors are being mobilized to support our staff, families and the people that we serve, as our community continues to grieve and process yesterday’s difficult news.

Bernie Burns, Executive Director, Arc of Steuben

18 News will continue to update this developing story as more information becomes available.


HORNELL, N.Y. (WETM) – A 65-year-old staff member at an Arc of Steuben home in Hornell has been charged with killing a 60-year-old male resident.

Police responded to a 911 call on Nov. 4 around 7:39 a.m. to the report of a male with a neck injury at 65 Elm Street.

Jay Sprague was found deceased in an upstairs bedroom with a neck injury, according to police.

Alan Schultheis, a caretaker at the residence, has been charged with murder in the second degree and tampering with physical evidence. Police arrested Schultheis after interviewing him at the Hornell Police Department.

Attorney Peter J. Degnan will represent Schultheis in the case, according to District Attorney Brooks Baker.

Neighbors told our reporter at the scene that four men lived in the house.

The Arc of Steuben is involved with people living with disabilities, and is accredited by the Council of Quality and Leadership to integrate “internationally-recognized and trademarked tools to ensure that organizations continually improve the quality of supports and the quality of people’s lives, leading to the achievement of individually-defined outcomes by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health diagnoses, older adults, and children and youth.