WATERLOO — “Man, I really (expletive) up today. I killed two people today ... at least I hope I killed two people today.”
A former corrections sergeant at the Seneca County Jail testified that John Gray III said those words shortly after he was arrested for allegedly killing his wife last year.
Joshua Gilmartin was one of several people to testify Monday during a hearing in Gray’s case in Seneca County Court. Gray faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of his wife, Geneva Middle School teacher Ashia Chilson-Gray.
Her body was found by Waterloo police on the morning of Nov. 23 at her East River Street home. Later that morning, Gray barricaded himself inside an apartment at Elmcrest Apartments in Geneva but surrendered several hours later after talks with family and friends, as well as police.
Gilmartin, who later left his job at the jail and now lives in Texas, said he and another corrections officer took Gray from the state police barracks in Waterloo to the county jail in Romulus on the afternoon of Nov. 23 for arraignment. Gilmartin said Gray made the impromptu statement, which was recorded by his body camera, shortly after getting into a sheriff’s office van.
The reference to killing two people was not explained, but at the time Gray was arrested police in Cayuga County were looking into an apparent assault that could have been connected to the Waterloo case. Seneca County District Attorney Mark Sinkiewicz referred questions on the alleged assault to Cayuga County officials.
Cayuga County DA Jon Budelmann did not return an email from the Times on that allegation.
Also testifying Monday was state police Inv. Anthony DeMarco, who said while he was at the Seneca County Jail serving a search warrant on Gray, he overheard Gray respond to another inmate asking why he (Gray) was there.
“I’m about to do 50 years to life,” DeMarco said he heard Gray tell the other inmate. “Alvie killed her, but I had to kill Alvie.”
Two other state police investigators testified at the hearing. Andrew Jasie was one of the officers who took Gray into custody in Geneva and later tried to question him at the state police barracks in Waterloo.
Jasie said Gray invoked his right to an attorney, but later said unprompted “I did it all. That’s just for you. I did it all.”
Inv. Joseph Zabawa testified that he collected evidence from the East River Street home, which included two shell casings that matched a handgun police found at Elmcrest Apartments. Zabawa added that he also found blood in a car police believe Gray drove to Geneva.
The hearing is scheduled to continue Aug. 16, at which time Judge Barry Porsch is expected to rule if statements Gray made can be used at his trial. That is scheduled for early December.
Gray is being held in the Seneca County Jail on $100,000 bail, $200,000 bail bond, or $400,000 partially secured bond.