Rome man indicted in fatal shooting

Investigation continues along with search for second suspect in November incident

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A 40-year-old Rome man has been charged with the fatal shooting at the Red Carpet Inn in November, according to law enforcement officials.

State police said Wilfredo Cotto Jr. was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday on one count of second-degree murder, a class A-2 felony. Troopers said a warrant was issued for Cotto and he was served on Friday. He is scheduled to appear virtually in County Court on Monday.

State police said Cotto shot 28-year-old Benjamin J. Davis at the Lawrence Street hotel at about 12:15 p.m. Nov. 15. Troopers said Davis, of Ulster County, was staying at the hotel and he was shot multiple times in the chest and face.

At the time of the shooting, state police said two suspects were involved and that they were believed to have fled the scene in a black-colored Nissan Rogue SUV. Davis had been staying at the hotel and was shot several times in the face and chest, troopers said in November.

State police spokesman Trooper Jack Keller said the search remains ongoing for the second suspect.

"We're still investigating," Keller said on Friday. It had been reported that the victim and the suspects knew one another.

According to county jail records, Cotto has been in lockup since Dec. 15 on an unrelated grand larceny charge.

According to state prison records, Cotto has served four separate prison sentences in the past 20 years. Cotto served from April 2002 to October 2004 for burglary and grand larceny out of Madison County. Cotto served between August 2005 and April 2018 on charges of robbery and burglary out of Oneida County. Cotto also served from March 2016 to April 2018 on a charge of burglary out of Madison County.

Most recently, according to state records, Cotto served from March 2019 until he was released on parole on June 26, 2020 on a charge of grand larceny.

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