UTICA, N.Y. – Naythen Aubain has pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless manslaughter for killing his grandmother and elderly landlord in 2019.
Aubain, 32, appeared in court Friday to enter his plea. He was originally charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and pleaded not guilty in March of 2019.
He faces 30 years maximum in prison, 7 1/2 to 15 years on each charge, to run consecutively.
"We have achieved what I believe to be convictions on the highest sustainable charges with the maximum imposable sentences," said prosecutor, Josh Bauer. "It is a veritable impossibility to convict someone of intentional murder when they commit that murder in the throes of an acute psychosis but there is absolutely criminal responsibility that should follow and attend crimes where the individual who commits those crimes is afflicted by a psychosis brought about by his own conduct."
Both the prosecution and defense have been reviewing Aubain's psychiatric evaluations for several months, and agree he was in the midst of a psychotic episode at the time of the crimes. However, the prosecution expert believes it was brought on by Aubain's own choices. And the prosecutor says Aubain was well aware of the potential, grave, consequences of those choices.
"Naythen Aubain was aware before the homicides at issue in this case even happened, that there was a substantial and an unjustifiable risk if he continued to use drugs, that he'd develop a psychosis and thereafter act out violently, which is exactly what happened here," said Bauer.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 25.
Aubain killed his grandmother Katherine Aubain, and 87-year-old landlord, Jane Wentka, in January of 2019. Katherine's body was found in Clayville, along with a dead dog, while Wentka's mutilated body was found in her apartment.
***plea agreement *** Naythen Aubain has pleaded guilty, in Oneida County Court, to 2 counts of 2nd-degree manslaughter, in deaths of his grandmother & their landlord January 6, 2019. pic.twitter.com/6XeeqISXUl
— Joleen Ferris (@joleenferris) January 15, 2021