Brothers sentenced to prison for Oneonta murder

May 9—Two brothers who pleaded guilty to a 2022 murder in the city of Oneonta were sentenced on Monday to terms in state prison.

Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl announced Tuesday that Terry and Nicholas DeCutler were sentenced for the murder of Kaleb O'Neill.

Terry DeCutler, 32, of Sidney, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder, a class A-1 violent felony, on Feb. 6, a media release said.

Nicholas DeCutler, 25, of Unadilla, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder, on March 27, the release said.

The two were sentenced by Judge John Lambert to 20 years to life in prison. Muehl said the brothers will be eligible for parole in 20 years, but he doesn't think they would receive it because it was "such a violent murder."

The two were charged with the May 30, 2022 stabbing death of O'Neill in Oneonta.

Police and EMS providers were called on Memorial Day, May 30, to a report of a stabbing in an alleyway behind 189 Main Street in the city. They found O'Neill, suffering from stab wounds. Despite attempted lifesaving measures by first responders and emergency medical personnel at A.O. Fox Hospital, O'Neill died from his injuries, a media release said at the time.

Oneonta Police Chief Christopher Witzenburg said in June, the department became aware of the brothers through "leads developed through our investigation."

He said the department pursued more than 160 leads in the case that led to the arrest.

"As with any investigation, we will exploit any lead we receive, whether its cellular data or social media posts," he said at the time.

Witzenburg said the department was "able to get several images from the area" where the stabbing occurred, including "some images that are important to the investigation."

According to a media release, State Police officers from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Major Crimes Unit, Computer Crimes Unit and Forensic Identification Unit assisted OPD in the criminal investigation and the Otsego County Sheriff's Office, Otsego County District Attorney's Office and Sidney Police Department also assisted in the investigation.

The brothers were indicted on charges of second-degree murder by a grand jury on July 29.

Muehl said there was overwhelming evidence against the two brothers. He said they both signed complete confessions to the crime and left DNA evidence at the crime scene.

"Almost always when there is a stabbing people cut themselves and they did," Muehl said.

Following the murder, both brothers posted photos of themselves on Facebook with bandaged hands, Muehl said.

"It's such a tragedy for the victim's family," Muehl said. "Kaleb's mom was there every day they appeared in court. No matter what sentence you get, you can't bring someone back."

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at vklukkert@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221.