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Utica man pleads not guilty to murder, arson charges in grandmother's death

Andre Anderson's attorney requested that a psychiatric exam be conducted to determine his fitness to stand trial.

Posted: Mar 11, 2019 11:01 AM
Updated: Mar 11, 2019 5:22 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- The Utica man accused of killing his grandmother pleaded not guilty on Monday.

Andre Anderson, 23, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and arson charges in Oneida County Court.

Anderson is accused of stabbing his grandmother then setting her West Street house on fire in January. She later died from her injuries.

He faces two separate murder in the first-degree charges under different theories. One theory is that during the course of committing arson, Anderson intentionally killed his grandmother. The other theory is that during the course of intentionally killing his grandmother, Anderson inflict torture.

Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara explains that this is an unusual circumstance.

"In this case there are two separate theories – generally speaking you seldom see one. Usually it's a murder in the second-degree but unfortunately this is a very unique fact pattern, and disturbing fact pattern. So it unfortunately does fit into two sections of murder in the first degree,” said McNamara.

Monday in court, his attorney requested that a psychiatric exam be conducted to determine Anderson’s fitness to stand trial. The request was granted.

His next court date is April 8.

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