Police on Thursday released sketches of two suspects believed to have been near homicide victim Brian Morrison shortly before he was found stabbed to death on Bleecker Street in Gloversville early on July 7, 2010.
Fulton County District Attorney Louise K. Sira joined with Morrison’s family members in Johnstown to ask the public’s help in identifying the two suspects, who are just now being sought, more than two years after the killing.
“It’s been 21⁄2 years, and we’re still coming to grips with losing him,” Morrison’s widow, Rebecca, said during a news conference.
Sira outlined the history of the case, which now involves at least six people — including one, Derrick Paul, 30, who is facing assault and robbery charges related to another encounter with Morrison at some point before he was killed.
Police believe Paul stole Morrison’s wallet after fighting with him.
Three others — Stephanie Moore, 21, who called 911 the day Morrison was found; Rebecca Abraham 38; and Kayla Bowman, 23 — have been convicted of thwarting the police probe by providing erroneous information to investigators in an effort to shield Paul, who was accompanied by Orlando Rodriguez, 29, the night Morrison was stabbed.
Based in part on lies all three women told, police arrested another man, Derek Kenney, 40, two days after the murder and charged him with second-degree murder. Kenney spent four months in jail before officials realized those who accused him were lying.
That arrest led to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Kenney against the city of Gloversville. That case is pending.
According to an outline of information police are sharing from their investigation, Morrison, 42, of Johnstown, left work as a grounds crew supervisor for the Gloversville Enlarged School District the afternoon of July 6. He then went fishing with a friend before going to Doc’s Remedy Inn, a bar at 237 Bleecker St.
Morrison phoned home from the bar at 11:26 p.m. and was to be heading home. At 11:59 p.m., Moore called 911 to report a “man down in the street.”
Police and emergency medical technicians responded, tried to revive Morrison and took him to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, where he was pronounced dead. Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Sikirica performed an autopsy at Albany Medical Center, determined Morrison bled to death from a stab wound to the neck, and ruled the death a homicide.
Sira said the fact that one of the new suspects was wearing a unique, military-style coat and long pants may make it easier for the public to remember him, because it was very hot the night Morrison was killed — the temperature never dropped below 80 degrees.
She said there were numerous people in the streets of Gloversville that night.
The witness providing the new information, who is not being identified, recalls the man’s collars in an upright position and the jacket had a strap and button on the cuffs. He also wore a baseball hat. His ethnicity is unclear.
The other sketch shows a man, who the witness said was white, wearing a T-shirt and shorts.
Anybody who can identify people wearing this type of clothing the night of July 6 or morning of July 7, 2010, is asked to contact the Gloversville Police Department’s Detective Division or the Fulton County anonymous crime tips hotline at 736-5561.
Gloversville Police Detective Sgt. Michael Jory said the witness recalls both of these men positioned around Morrison on Bleecker Street in a “suspicious manner” and said all three were yelling back and forth. Then, police believe Derrick Paul and Orlando Rodriguez approached the group and the two other suspects left on foot, headed west on Lincoln Street.
Derrick Paul faces charges of second-degree robbery, second- and third-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence. A trial is scheduled in this case for April 8 in Fulton County Court.
Rodriguez was charged with tampering with physical evidence in November 2012, and his case is pending.