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Police: Oneonta woman died of several blows to the head


ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Oneonta police say 26 year-old Sonya Ridge died of several blows to the head early Saturday morning.

Police also believe someone tried to rape her.

William Sprague, 27 of Oneonta, an acquaintance of Ridge, has been charged with second-degree murder in her death. Oneonta Police say a woman visiting a friend at 162 River Street saw two men carrying an unresponsive, half-naked, woman into the downstairs apartment early Saturday morning. The woman was later identified as Sonya Ridge.

The two men carrying Ridge were William Sprague and Robert Riley, police said. Riley is a friend of Sprague's.

Oneonta Police Chief Joseph Redmond said Monday that after a 911 call was made Saturday morning, Ridge was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. That 911 call came from a neighbor who lived upstairs from Riley.

Both men were interviewed, and an autopsy was done. After both were completed, Sprague was charged with murder, Chief Redmond said.

"She (Ridge) had some bruising on her brain," Chief Redmond said. "I believe it (the autopsy) indicated there were three spots on her brain that appeared to be bruising. She had bleeding on her brain."

According to Chief Redmond, all three were drinking together at a downtown bar earlier in the night. Riley left in a taxi while Sprague and Ridge left together in her vehicle, Chief Redmond said. Both drove to the River Street apartment building where Riley lived, the Chief added.

Riley most likely will not be charged and has been cooperating with police, Redmond said.

Word of the incident spread through the city over the weekend, shocking most, including resident Brenda Manwarren.

"It is kind of strange," Manwarren said. "This is like a murder that would happen in New York City or something. You don't really hear about murders here."

William Sprague remains in the Otsego County Jail without bail. He is due in Oneonta City Court Tuesday.

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