TOWN OF MOHAWK – The man accused in the murder of a town of Mohawk resident was accused in another attack on the same man more than four years earlier, records show.
The allegations in the earlier attack, from December 2016, did not result in any felony conviction, but Brett J. Insogna was originally accused in that case of beating the victim – identified as a family friend – with a crowbar, threatening to kill him, then leaving the victim tied up before stealing the victim’s car, according to the original allegations filed in that case.
Meanwhile, Insogna, 32, of Gloversville, was returned to Montgomery County from North Carolina over the weekend to face charges in the death this month of Thomas B. Gordon, 63, of 4110 Route 5, Mohawk.
Insogna was arraigned in the homicide case and ordered held without bail.
Insogna is accused of killing Gordon at Gordon’s residence on or after March 10 and then fleeing in Gordon’s vehicle to North Carolina, where authorities say he was arrested after a chase there. Gordon’s body wasn’t found until this past week when troopers were sent to Gordon’s residence to check on him after he’d missed a doctor’s appointment, troopers said.
Troopers last week indicated Insogna and Gordon knew each other, but police declined to describe their connection further.
In December 2016, however, Gordon described Insogna as a family friend, though someone who rarely visited, according to the incident report in the 2016 case.
Gordon spoke to Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies then after reporting Dec. 15, 2016, that he had been beaten and Insogna had his car and other items, according to the incident report.
Gordon later declined to go to the hospital, according to the report.
Gordon reported to the deputy that Insogna had been over at his house all afternoon, the narrative read.
“Mr. Gordon states they talked and hung out for several hours before Brett for no reason started to strike him with a crowbar,” according to the sergeant’s narrative in the 2016 incident report. “Brett struck him several times and knocked him to the ground and tied his legs with electric cords and tape and used rope on his hands.”
Gordon told the sergeant that Insogna had repeatedly struck him with the crowbar over the course of hours and demanded money.
“Brett repeatedly stated that he was going to kill Mr. Gordon,” the 2016 narrative continued.
Insogna then took Gordon’s money, debit cards and cigarettes, then took Gordon’s car and left, Gordon reported to the sergeant, according to the 2016 narrative.
“Mr. Gordon believes he returned just as he was getting loose from being tied up and took off again,” the 2016 narrative continued. “Mr. Gordon called 911 at this point.”
Insogna was originally charged in the 2016 case with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, fourth-degree grand larceny and first-degree unlawful imprisonment, felonies. He was taken into custody then in Onondaga County.
He was then indicted on the same charges and pleaded not guilty to them in May 2017. The case, however, ended that August with a guilty plea to one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to time served.
Those involved in the case then, including then-District Attorney Kelli McCoski and defense attorney William Martuscello could not be reached for comment on the 2016-2017 case’s resolution Monday. McCoski took office Jan. 1, 2017.
Current District Attorney Lorraine C. Diamond, who took office this past Jan. 1, said records indicated her predecessor moved to dismiss the robbery and assault counts “in the interests of justice,” then resolved the case with the misdemeanor. Diamond, however, did not have specific information Monday on what led to the 2016-2017 case resolution.
Regarding the current homicide case, Diamond said investigators continue to work diligently on the case and she commended the state police, with help from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, for their work in making the arrest and investigating the case.