Utica man pleads not guilty to Eagle Street homicide
UTICA — A charge of manslaughter has been upgraded to murder in Oneida County Court for a Utica man accused of killing another man on his porch on Eagle Street, according to court officials.
Matthew Johnston, 50, pleaded not guilty before Judge Robert L. Bauer Thursday morning on one count each of second-degree murder and third-degree possession of a weapon, officials said. His case was adjourned to March 31 to decide whether or not to accept a plea deal from the Oneida County District Attorney's Office.
The details of the offer were not available this morning.
Police said Johnston attacked another man on Johnston’s porch on Eagle Street at around 3 a.m. Jan. 11, causing the man’s death. Police said Johnston notified the authorities about the unresponsive man on his porch, and then tried to interfere when investigators started looking into the death.
Johnston was initially taken into custody on a charge of first-degree manslaughter. That charge was upgraded to murder when an indictment was returned by the grand jury.
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