The Gloversville man who allegedly killed his wife on Feb. 10 pleaded not guilty during an arraignment in Fulton County Court on Tuesday.
Frank Ostrander, 70, shuffled into court wearing an orange Fulton County Corrections jumpsuit and shackles. His lawyer, Gerard McAuliffe, entered a plea of “not guilty” before Judge Polly Hoye on the four counts facing Ostrander, which include second-degree murder.
Authorities say Ostrander struck and stabbed his wife, Sally Ostrander, “multiple times on her head and torso with an e-tool hatchet, a fire poker, and a knife.”
Gloversville police arrested Ostrander shortly after his wife’s body was found, and said in a preliminary hearing in February that he confessed to killing her.
In addition to the second-degree murder charge, Ostrander faces one count of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Police said the couple had argued early that morning before going to sleep in different rooms inside their home at 35 Steele Ave. Ostrander allegedly awoke later that morning and attacked his wife by hitting her repeatedly in the head with what was described at the time as a camping shovel or hatchet.
Ostrander allegedly moved on to the fire poker after the first instrument broke. Sally Ostrander fought back and the struggle moved into other rooms of the first-floor apartment, police said. At some point, Frank Ostrander allegedly stabbed his wife in the back.
Ostrander, at the request of his attorney, remained seated throughout the five-minute proceeding on Tuesday. Judge Hoye gave the defense until June 24 to file any motions. Acting Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown represented the prosecution.
‘Time will tell’
Outside on the courthouse steps, McAuliffe cited several news reports in the days after Sally Ostrander’s killing where police asked for the public’s assistance in locating at least one associate of Ostranders who may have knowledge of the incident.
McAuliffe also said police were looking for a silver 2002 Ford Escape and a gray 2010 Hyundai Elantra near the crime scene, and authorities have so far declined to give more details on others who may have been involved in the incident or have knowledge of it.
“How many people were there? Who are these people? What do the police think these people did and when?” said McAuliffe. “Were these people offered a cooperation agreement to testify against Mr. Ostrander? Were these people offered immunity from prosecution by testifying before the grand jury?”
When questioned further about his defense strategy, McAuliffe said, “Time will tell.”
“There are obviously a great many questions,” he said, “and I have presented some of those to you today.”
Brown declined to comment on the case after the arraignment Tuesday. If convicted, Ostrander faces up to 25 years to life in prison. He remains in the Fulton County Correctional Facility without bail.