Anonymous source tells Oneonta paper that victim died of brain aneurysm

ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The reason that an Oneonta man suspected in a weekend homicide was freed from jail this week was that autopsy results showed the alleged victim died of a ruptured brain aneurysm, the Oneonta Daily Star is reporting.

On Saturday, William A. Sprague III, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Sonja N. Ridge, 26, of Oneonta.

An anonymous source close to the investigation told the paper that the cause of the aneurysm is still unknown. According to WebMD, an aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. In most cases, a brain aneurysm causes no symptoms and goes unnoticed. In rare cases, the brain aneurysm ruptures, releasing blood into the skull and causing a stroke.

Sprague was released from jail on Thursday morning fter a bail hearing in Otsego County Court.

Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl said new physical evidence came to light around noon Wednesday, but would not discuss the nature of the evidence.

A felony hearing was supposed to take place Tuesday, in Oneonta city court. However, both Sprague's attorney and the Otsego County District Attorney requested more time. The matter was adjourned until Tuesday November 23.

Over this past weekend a witness saw Sprague and a friend carrying an unresponsive Sonya Ridge into an Oneonta apartment. Oneonta police say after they interviewed both Sprague and his friend, it was Sprague who was charged with second degree murder.

According to Oneonta police chief, Joseph Redmond, Sonya Ridge had bruises and bleeding on her brain.

Sprague's friend - Robert Riley, 29 - had been cooperating with police and was not being considered a suspect. Police said the three were out drinking together in downtown Oneonta before the incident happened.

Sprague and Riley were said to be intoxicated, while Ridge, who had been drinking, was not drunk. Police said no drugs are believed to have been involved.

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