Oneonta police continue to investigate an attempted-murder case, Police Chief Douglas Brenner said Tuesday, and the injured woman is "doing much better" but faces a long road to recovery.
Meanwhile, a Schenectady defendant has appeared in city court and changed attorneys, officials said.
Julian D. VanCourt-Wels, 20, was charged Dec. 8 with second-degree attempted murder of his roommate and first-degree assault, both felonies, and misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal possession of weapon, a knife, police said.
VanCourt-Wels, who is being held without bail in Otsego County jail, is accused of stabbing his girlfriend at their apartment at 30 Maple St., authorities said.
On Tuesday, VanCourt-Wels appeared in Oneonta City Court before Judge Lucy Bernier, court officials said. In a change of attorneys, VanCourt-Wels has retained lawyer Paul DerOhannesian II of Albany, officials said, and the case was adjourned until Jan. 2 for further proceedings.
According to complaints filed at Oneonta City Court, VanCourt-Wels used a serrated kitchen knife to stab and cut his girlfriend multiple times. The woman had a stab wound through her cheek and a cut to her wrist that caused arterial bleeding, which police said created a substantial risk of death, a complaint said.
City police were dispatched at about 11:30 p.m. Dec. 8 to their apartment, where officers found VanCourt-Wels kneeling before the woman who was sitting on a couch holding her face and covered in blood, police said.
VanCourt-Wels told police, "I stabbed her," according to a complaint, and he pointed to a knife, which was stabbed into the floor. VanCourt-Wels was taken into custody and escorted outside, when during a search he uttered, "I tried to kill her," police said in the complaint.
Oneonta ambulance crews went to the scene and treated the woman for serious personal injury and took her to A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta, the complaint said.
Police said the woman was transferred to Albany Medical Center, treated for serious stab wounds to the face, neck, shoulder and arms, and released Dec. 9.
Brenner told the Common Council on Tuesday night that the case was a traumatic scene.
"This is not what we're used to in Oneonta," Brenner said. When asked, by a Council member, Brenner said counseling services are available for police department members.
Police said if convicted on the attempted-murder charge, the defendant could face life in prison, and the maximum sentence for first-degree assault is 25 years.