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Three murder indictments in Fort Plain killing

Three murder indictments in Fort Plain killing

Previously, only two had faced murder counts
Three murder indictments in Fort Plain killing
Eric S. Rivera, Aaron L. Cockfield and Garry L. Sweet III
Photographer: New York State Police (insets); Shutterstock (background)

FORT PLAIN -- All three men arrested in connection with the summer killing of a Fort Plain man now face murder charges, according to a new indictment unsealed in the case.

The indictment marks an increase in charges against one of the men, the alleged driver, 33-year-old Johnstown resident Aaron Cockfield.

Cockfield had previously faced a count of felony criminal facilitation in the June 30 killing of 29-year-old Joshua L. Laveck at 60 Division St.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kelli McCoski on Monday confirmed the upgraded charge against Cockfield and said the investigation conducted since the original charges were filed indicated all three men should face murder charge. The grand jury voted second-degree murder indictments against each.

Cockfield is accused of driving Garry L. Sweet III, 38, of Fort Plain, and Eric S. Rivera, 31, of Gloversville, to Laveck's residence, where Sweet and Rivera allegedly killed Laveck on the apartment's front porch.

Police believe money was the motive behind the murder. Money was owed to the victim, possibly rent money, Fort Plain Police Chief Ryan Austin said in mid-July. Laveck had allowed one of the suspects to live with him for some time, Austin said.

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All three defendants, Sweet, Rivera and Cockfield, appeared in Montgomery County Court last week on the indictment and pleaded not guilty, McCoski said. All three remain held.

If convicted of the second-degree murder counts, the men would face up to 25 years to life in state prison.

The murder counts are worded so that authorities allege each of the three is responsible for his own conduct and the conduct of the other two.

Each of the men also face one count of second-degree conspiracy, a felony, and Cockfield continues to face the felony criminal facilitation charge.

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