Hearings set for Chemung County Torture-Murder case suspects on Friday

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Hearings are set on Friday for the suspects in the Chemung County Torture-Murder case.

Attornies for Thomas Bovaird, Eddie Marte, and Malik Weems are each scheduled to appear in front of Judge Otto Campanella in Chemung County Court for hearings as part of the Juan Jose Gotay kidnapping and murder case. According to the court calendar, none of the suspects are scheduled to appear in front of the judge on Friday.

Bovaird is being represented by The Fenchel Defense Firm and Marte is set to be represented by Matthew Buzzetti. Weems is expected to be represented by a Public Advocate in the hearing.

Bovaird, of Horseheads, 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.

Weems and Marte were indicted for first degree murder, four counts of first degree kidnapping, and two counts each of first and degree assault. The two are also alleged to have kidnapped a second man, Joseph Waters, in early April 2021 with the intent of demanding ransom.

Weems and Marte are also facing kidnapping, burglary, and robbery charges in an Ontario County case.

A fourth suspect in the case, a 17-year-old male, is currently having his case handled in Youth Court. A youth hearing is scheduled prior to the three other suspects on Friday, but it is unknown if it’s the same case.

The teen has been charged with Murder in the Second Degree, Kidnapping the First Degree, two counts of Assault in the First Degree, and two counts of Assault in the Second Degree.

Disclaimer: the following details may be disturbing for some readers.

According to Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore, the victim Juan Jose Gotay was 38-years-old when he was kidnapped, tortured, mutilated, and left to die in rural Pennsylvania.

Gotay’s body was recovered bound by an electrical cord by Pennsylvania State Police in April, nearly four months after he was kidnapped on or around Jan. 29 or 30, 2021.

While still living, 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. Officials confirmed that Gotay’s body was the one recovered along Route 6 in Potter County back in April.

Very limited information could be found on Gotay online, including no obituary or prominent social media presence.

The case is in connection to the large New York State Police presence at two homes on 427 Partridge St. and 319 West Ave in Elmira on May 5 where police dug up yards and combed through both homes.

District Attorney Wetmore confirmed in a press conference on Monday that Gotay knew his alleged kidnappers and killers, calling them associates. Wetmore could not confirm why Gotay was in Elmira or what business he had with the four suspects.

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