ONEONTA – State Police held a news conference Monday afternoon to provide an update on the arrest of five people after an alleged murder and arson in Otsego County last week.
Thursday evening, State Police and local firefighters were called to 162 Head Road in Worcester for a report of a structure fire. When first responders arrived, police say it turned into much more.
Nicolas Meridy (photo: NYSP)
"They actually discovered that there was a body inside of the residence. You could see it through the front door,” said NYSP Captain Scott Heggelke.
Troopers entered the burning home and pulled 53-year-old Kenneth Robinson from the building. Robinson was deceased and had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Robinson's two children were staying with him at the time of the incident, but made it out safely before the fire started.
Police say Robinson was targeted by the suspects, and the fire was set intentionally in one of the back bedrooms.
"This was not a random attack. The victim was targeted. There's no threat to public safety. And again, we are very confident that everyone that was inside of that residence - we have them in custody," said Heggelke.
Nicholas Meridy, 32, along with three minors ages 15 to 17, has been charged with felony second-degree murder and first-degree burglary.
A fifth juvenile has also been charged with first-degree burglary, but not murder. All five are from Oneonta, and police say one of them is related to Robinson.
Police did not indicate a motive for the alleged burglary, and would not elaborate on the relationship between Robinson and the suspects.
State Police also confirm that there was a police presence in Oneonta on both Thursday and Friday that was related to the investigation.
Two of the minors are being held at a facility in Syracuse, the other two in Buffalo. Meridy is being held at the Otsego County Jail.