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Stabbing fatality on South Amenia Road

AMENIA — Moments before this paper went to press on Tuesday, Jan. 18, New York State Police (NYSP) Public Information Officer A.J. Hicks confirmed that 26-year-old David A. Trotta of Amenia was arrested for Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-I felony, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th degree, a class A misdemeanor, on Sunday, Jan. 16, for killing 45-year-old Juan C. Cedillo, just before noon.

Hicks stated that "Troopers were dispatched to South Amenia Road for a report of a stabbing by Dutchess County 911. Once on scene the suspect, David A. Trotta, was immediately taken into custody."

The emergency call was placed to the Dover Plains substation at 11:51 a.m. Although initial news reports stated three people had been stabbed at a South Amenia Road apartment, Wassaic Fire Chief Tim Shea (working in his capacity as a Northern Dutchess Paramedic at the time), clarified the next day there was only the one victim, who was “on the ground with multiple stab wounds to the head” when he arrived on scene.

“No, we got that report too over the initial response,” said Shea. “We were like, ‘Where are the other two?’ But no other victims were there, just the deceased… There was only one stab victim.”

CPR was administered by the Rescue Squad and medics, but the victim was pronounced dead on the scene about 20 minutes after EMS arrived.

“We tried life-saving measures,” said Shea, but to no avail.

The incident took place at 173 South Amenia Road, near the Benton Road intersection.

Along with the NYSP, Capt. John Watterson of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office (DCSO) confirmed the DCSO "had Deputies on the scene assisting initially, however they cleared pretty quickly once the scene was secure." Watterson noted the NYSP is lead agency in the murder investigation.

Also on scene, added Shea, were the Wassaic Rescue Squad, Amenia Town Medic 1, Dover Town Medic 1, NDP and a number of other emergency crews.

Shea said he didn't know what triggered the stabbing.

“I don’t have any information on what the catalyst was all about,” he said. “When we arrived, the state police had arrived about four minutes before we got there. We had to [wait] until they made it secure. We didn’t see any other residents at all.”

Both Trotta and Cedillo appear to have been residents of the South Amenia Road apartment, according to Hicks.

Trotta was arraigned before the town of Amenia Court and remanded by the Honorable Judge Christopher Klingner to the Dutchess County Jail without bail.

Trotta was scheduled to reappear before the court on Friday, Jan. 21, at 9:30 a.m., but Amenia Court Clerk Dawn Marie Klingner said on Wednesday, Jan. 19, that court date has been adjourned. She said a future date will be set for the defendant to return to court to answer the charges.

Hicks noted the defendant's bail/bond status can always change. He added Trotta's defense attorney will likely make a plea before the judge to modify his bail.   

This article has been updated to note that Trotta's Jan. 21 court date was adjourned to a future date.

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