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Montgomery County teens facing murder charges

Montgomery County teens facing murder charges

Two Montgomery County boys were indicted Thursday on murder charges by a grand jury in county court.

Two Montgomery County boys were indicted Thursday on murder charges by a grand jury in county court.

Matt Phelps, 15, of Snooks Corners Road, Florida, and Anthony Brasmeister, 16, of Belfance Road, Amsterdam, were charged with two counts each of second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

The eight-count indictment was handed up five months after they were arrested and charged with the killings of Amsterdam teens Paul Damphier, 16, and Jonathan DeJesus, 13.

District Attorney James “Jed” Conboy said they will be arraigned Jan. 3, at which point trials will likely be scheduled. Legally, trials must take place within six months of the arraignment, so the process will likely be over by June.

“You have to remember we are still really early in the process,” Conboy said. “These are still just allegations. We’re far away from proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

On July 9 Damphier and DeJesus disappeared. The next day they were reported missing by their parents. Two weeks later police followed a tip to a secluded soybean field near the Phelps residence on Snooks Corners Road, where the boys were found shot to death.

At the time investigators generally believed Phelps to be the trigger man, shooting Damphier and DeJesus in the torso with a family member’s rifle taken from his home.

Conboy could not comment further on the case Thursday except to say that he hasn’t received ballistics tests on the gun.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate at this point,” he said.

Brasmeister currently is being held in the Montgomery County Jail. Phelps is in a secure juvenile facility in Albany, though he will be tried as an adult.

The office of the county public defender, Phelps’ representation, did not return calls for comment Thursday.

Brasmeister’s conflict attorney Jeffrey Francisco could not be reached in the wake of Thursday’s indictments.

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