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Emotional day in court for felony hearing of Pablo Contreras

By Gary Liberatore

(WKTV) - The sound of uncontrollable sobbing filled the hallway of Utica City Court on Thursday morning.

That sobbing came from Rose Angelica Ramos of Utica, whose boyfriend of the past three and a half years was killed over the weekend.

The body of her boyfriend, 19-year-old Eugenio Correa of Philadelphia, was found on Bleecker Street around 3 a.m. Sunday morning.

Police arrested 40-year-old Pablo Contreras of Oneida Street in Utica a short time later and charged him with murder.

Thursday morning, Contreras was in court for his felony hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to hold him on the murder charge.

Among the witnesses to testify Thursday, a 14-year-old girl who lives in a home right across the street from where Correa's body was found.

The teenager told Judge John Balzano she was awakened by the sounds of arguing and then went over to the window of her second-floor bedroom.

She says she saw the defendant, Pablo Contreras punching Eugenio Correa repeatedly in the head and then land three blows to his stomach.  She says at that point, Correa fell to the ground and Contreras ran from the scene.

She says from her vantage point, she couldn't tell if there was a knife.

A Utica police officer also testified on Thursday, stating that Contreras himself called 911 later that morning, claiming he had been assaulted, suffering head and hand wounds.

Once police arrived to Contreras' location at the corner of Bleecker Street and Hubbell Street, Contreras was interviewed, then placed under arrest.

Judge Balzano ruled there is enough evidence to hold Contreras, and the case will be sent over to the Oneida County District Attorney's Office.

Correa's girlfriend, Rose Angelica Ramos talked to NewsChannel 2.  She says she wants justice, "He was an innocent kid.  He didn't deserve this. He didn't deserve this."

Contreras' public defender Luke Nebush says this is not a simple case.

"Right now, we're still investigating the issue," Nebush said.  "I've been actually told that there may be a video of this, that there was a video maybe on a police pole on the street.  I believe the police officers are still trying to track that down.  If that exists, obviously that will tell us a big part of the story.  But both individuals sustained injuries.  It's a fight that went too far and how it happened, or why it happened, we don't know yet."
 

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