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Cobleskill homicide suspect, 17, identified; accused of shooting father

Cobleskill homicide suspect, 17, identified; accused of shooting father

The shooting happened early Thursday morning
Cobleskill homicide suspect, 17, identified; accused of shooting father
A no trespassing sign sits in the driveway of 435 Lamont District Road in Cobleskill Monday
Photographer: Steven Cook/Gazette Reporter

COBLESKILL -- The 17-year-old accused in last week's homicide in Cobleskill was identified Monday as the son of the 50-year-old man killed.

Ryan J. Oldorff, who turned 17 in April, is accused of using a rifle to shoot and kill Timothy Oldorff at 435 Lamont District Road in Cobleskill at 12:44 a.m. Thursday, according to state police allegations filed in court.

Ryan Oldorff did "go downstairs to the gun safe, grabbed his .22 caliber rifle, took one bullet and loaded it into the rifle and shot Timothy J. Oldorff in the head," according to the state police allegations.

The father survived for several hours after the shooting but died later Thursday at Albany Medical Center.

The son, who was charged prior to his father's death, faces one count of first-degree assault and first-degree criminal use of a firearm, both felonies.

Ryan Oldorff is represented by attorney Mark Gaylord, court officials said. Gaylord on Monday confirmed that Ryan Oldorff was Timothy Oldorff's son.

Ryan Oldorff was arraigned Thursday and ordered held. He had been due back in court Tuesday, but that has been postponed, Gaylord said, as the teen undergoes a psychiatric evaluation.

Gaylord described the evaluation as determining his client's competency to go forward. Gaylord said his client has "a lot of learning disabilities and emotional disabilities." 

"We're trying to determine whether he's competent to stand trial," Gaylord said.

Regarding the shooting itself, Gaylord said "there's not much dispute" that his client shot the father.

The shooting happened hours after a dispute between the father and son, Gaylord said, which he said he is still getting information on.

Gaylord declined to further detail the lead-up to the shooting. But Gaylord alleged prior physical abuse from father to son.

Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery did not return a call Monday for comment. State police also declined to comment beyond the little they provided last week.

State police last week offered a brief description of the incident and indicated that a 17-year-old had been charged. They also named the victim, but did not name the suspect.

State police cited an internal policy not to release the identity of defendants age 17 or 18 charged with felonies due to potential youthful-offender status. One of the few exceptions to their policy is a top-level felony charge such as murder.

New York's court system is undergoing changes in how it approaches felony cases involving 16- and 17-year-olds, but felony cases involving 17-year-olds remain open at the start.

Last October, cases involving 16-year-olds were no longer considered automatically in adult court and open, as they had been. The status of cases involving 17-year-olds will change in a similar fashion this October.

Charges against Ryan Oldorff have yet to be upgraded since his father's death, and it was unclear when or if prosecutors would seek that.

Gaylord, however, said he expects the charges to be upgraded. Gaylord also said he still hopes prosecutors will take everything into account and ultimately allow his client to be treated as a youthful offender.

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