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Chief: Money dispute believed motive in Fort Plain killing

Chief: Money dispute believed motive in Fort Plain killing

Police believe fight focused on money owed
Chief: Money dispute believed motive in Fort Plain killing
Eric S. Rivera, Aaron L. Cockfield and Garry L. Sweet III

FORT PLAIN -- Fort Plain Police Chief Ryan Austin said his department believes money, not drugs, was the motivating factor in the homicide of Joshua L. Laveck. 

Laveck, 29, was found dead on the front porch of his apartment on July 1. The woman he was living with found him.

Austin said Laveck's death has been ruled a homicide, and police know how he died, but they would not provide further information. 

"The investigation is still very active and ongoing," Austin said. "We're working on it every day to make the best case we can. Currently, we do not believe it was drug related. It was, I believe, some money owed to the victim, rent money owed or something to that effect.

"He had allowed one of the suspects to reside with him for some time, and he owed him some money. He had let him flop at his house for awhile, or something to that effect." 

Police have arrested three men in connection with the case; they face charges of fourth-degree conspiracy to cause serious physical injury with a deadly weapon. Those charged are Eric S. Rivera, 31, of Gloversville; Aaron L. Cockfield, 33, of  Johnstown; and Gary L. Sweet III, 38, of Fort Plain.

None of the men has been charged with causing Laveck's death. 

All three were arraigned in Minden Town Court and have been sent to Montgomery County Jail. No bail has been set for Cockfield or Sweet, and a $20,000 cash bail or a $50,000 bond bail has been set for Rivera.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kelli McCoski's office said no new court date had been set for the case as of Monday afternoon. 

Austin said he is hopeful more information about the case will be released later this week.  


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