Suspect charged in fatal Central Bridge stabbing

April 07, 2018 06:10 PM

CENTRAL BRIDGE - Thirty-year old Kevin Hodgins was led into Schoharie Town Court Saturday afternoon after State Police labeled him an accused killer.

His first day in custody followed a late night episode of violence inside a crowded apartment house at 197 Church Street in Central Bridge. Police say Hodgins, who lived in one apartment, got into an argument with 29-year-old Zachary George, who lived in another, and then pulled out a knife, and killed him by stabbing him in the neck. 

"It was just a neighborhood dispute over language, certain neighbors not respecting other neighbors," said Capt. Michael Tietz. "For it to evolve into this violent type of incident, there's no reason for it."

There may not have been a reason, but there were many witnesses, police say, after emotions boiled over in a common hallway.

"Whether or not self-defense played a role in this, we're not prepared to say at this time," said Lt. Rich Anguish.

Because there's only one common entrance for the eight unit building, residents were told they could either stay or leave before the investigation got underway, and not after. The reason, of course, was to prevent the crime scene from being contaminated. But at least one tenant grew tired of the home confinement, opting to escape down a rope ladder from the third floor.

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By early afternoon, residents were finally able to come and go as they please. And by early afternoon, residents of the community were already coming to grips with what had happened.

"Who would believe that a little hamlet like Central Bridge in this quaint town that I grew up in for 74 years could have a homicide like this?" wondered Paul Kennedy.

But police say they've responded to the address several times before when neighbors weren't getting along, including earlier Friday night, roughly four hours before the fatal stabbing, which, according to police, was the beginning of the final dispute.

According to Kennedy, a predictable result with a simple remedy.

"If you don't get along with someone, then don't kill him. Try to work things out," he said.

Hodgins pleaded not guilty to second degree manslaughter charges. He's in the Schoharie County Jail after being unable to raise $15,000 bail.


WNYT Staff

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