Record bond requested for fatal arson suspect in Otsego County

Gabriel Truitt is accused of starting the fire on Walling Avenue back in December.

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 1:43 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2019 10:12 PM

Gabriel Truitt was arraigned for 1st Degree Murder, 2 counts of 2nd Degree Murder, and Arson. Police believe he got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend and then set fire a house on Walling Avenue where his ex-girlfriend lived. Former firefighter John Heller also lived in the complex and died in the fire trying to save the occupants inside. Police had arrested Terrence Truitt for the fire as he was found covered in soot, but Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl tells us his statements and video evidence told a different story.

"After he told us his story and it was corroborated by the video, video surveillance that we had, as well as it’s simply the timeline. We knew that it wasn’t him and it was in fact his brother that had started the fire."

Now it was a matter of finding Gabriel Truitt. Strangely enough it was one of Truitt’s own children that wrote about him in a school journal that gave away his position.

Police had been searching for Gabriel Truett for weeks, only to discover he’d been living in a house right behind the police department.
Gabriel Truitt’s Attorney Lee Kindlon believes a jury will find his client not guilty after hearing the facts in this case.

"The police department was initially investigating the brother, and I’ve been helping counsel them through everything that’s been going on, and then when the attention started to turn to Gabriel and all the witness statements started to almost take a 180 degree turn, I was helping give them advice through the whole thing."

The District Attorney requested the highest bail ever for Otsego County. $1million cash or $2 million bond. Truitt has a significant criminal history with felony and misdemeanor convictions, so Otsego County Court Judge Brian Burns remanded Truitt to the Otsego County Jail without bail. The District Attorney said bail was based on how the crime was committed.

"It’s hard to believe that it ever came about the way it did. It’s hard to believe that anybody would have done what this individual is alleged to have done, and the consequences were terrible. I don’t know what to say other than that. It’s a very sad case for the family of the deceased."

The next step in this process is a pre-trial conference, and that’s scheduled for May 24th at 9 am.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 376208

Reported Deaths: 30236
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City20594021782
Nassau407972132
Suffolk402391918
Westchester338541389
Rockland13297655
Orange10484444
Erie6359549
Dutchess3984142
Monroe3117230
Onondaga2329149
Albany1941112
Ulster171177
Sullivan140931
Putnam127060
Niagara109970
Oneida107758
Schenectady70630
Broome60552
Rensselaer49728
Saratoga49614
Columbia41134
Madison32315
Warren25628
Orleans24741
Steuben24641
Greene24218
Washington24013
Fulton21924
Ontario2199
St. Lawrence2072
Genesee2055
Tompkins1670
Chemung1372
Tioga13422
Chenango1335
Wayne1223
Livingston1217
Herkimer1153
Oswego1123
Cayuga982
Clinton974
Chautauqua974
Montgomery964
Cattaraugus925
Wyoming885
Delaware844
Jefferson750
Otsego735
Seneca610
Schoharie510
Allegany510
Cortland410
Yates396
Essex380
Franklin230
Lewis200
Schuyler120
Hamilton50
Unassigned00
Utica
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 72°
Oneonta
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 72°
Herkimer
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 72°
Thendara
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 72°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
Apply to Go the Distance 2020
23 courses for only $79.99