Utica man sentenced to life in prison for murdering grandmother

The Utica man convicted of murdering his grandmother and setting her home on fire has been sentenced to life in prison.

Posted: Dec 9, 2019 11:34 AM
Updated: Dec 9, 2019 6:12 PM

UTICA, N.Y. – The Utica man convicted of murdering his grandmother and setting her home on fire has been sentenced to life in prison.

Andre Anderson, 24, was found guilty in October of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of arson.

He was sentenced to life without parole on the first-degree murder charges, 25 years to life for the first-degree arson charge, and a determinant 25 years on the second-degree arson charge. The sentences will be served concurrently.

Police say Anderson stabbed his grandmother, Freddie McKinney, doused her in gasoline and lit her and the home on fire in January of 2019. McKinney was removed from the home and taken to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse for treatment where she later died from her injuries.

Anderson's attorney, Kurt Schultz, says Anderson has remained quiet and reserved during this process, but he did share a few words in court.

"I just wanted to say that it wasn't intentional and I wanted to apologize to the court," Anderson said.

Judge Michael Dwyer asked Anderson what he was sorry for. Anderson said "For the mishap of the altercation."

District Attorney Michael Coluzza read a statement prior to Anderson's sentencing.

"She took you in, she fed you, she sheltered you , she loved you as a grandmother loves a grandchild, and you returned this love and support with torture and murder," Coluzza said.

Coluzza says he is satisfied with the sentence.

"I'm satisfied that justice is served by that sentence and it is an uncommon sentence, you don't see life without the possibility of parole very often," Coluzza said. "It's reserved for the worst of the worst of the offence in terms of how it was committed and in this case, the defendant deserved that ultimate punishment."

Schultz says he will appeal the verdict.

"We will be filing a notice of appeal on behalf of Mr. Anderson and he will puruse his appeal in the higher court," Schultz said. "His stance throughout the case is that the arson that he was charged with, the burning was a mistake or inadvertence or accidental, that he is not responsible for the death of his grandmother."

Schultz says there are several evidentiary issues that will be addressed by an appellate attorney.

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