Not guilty plea in death of missing Syracuse man Mark Murray

Mark Murray

6:00 UPDATE:

When Mark Murray never arrived at his son's lacrosse game in may of 2008, his family called police and reported him missing. Last year, the Syracuse man's badly decomposed body was found in the city of Oneida. The past twelve months have taken investigators all over the country as they tried to reconstruct what happened to Mark Murray and how he died.

"Right from the start, Oneida and Syracuse worked together as soon as the body was found. Everything was shared, we assisted each other. We also had cooperation from out of state agencies as well. They provided us with information and leads we followed up on," said Oneida police chief David Meeker.

Their information led them to Chauncey "Champ" Winchell. Prosecutors Winchell shot killed Mark Murray near Canal road in Oneida on May 22 of 2008 and stole Murray's 1994 Pontiac Firebird. Investigators found Winchell in Arizona where he was serving a jail sentence for a robbery there.

"The grand jury voted out a sixteen count indictment including murder in the first degree. At that time the defendant was still located in jail in Arizona. Upon his release he was transported by criminal transportation service and he arrived yesterday," said District Attorney William Gabor.

At Friday's arraignment, Winchell only said he understood the charges against him. Through his attorney, Winchell pled not guilty. Madison County Supreme Court Judge McDermott ordered Winchell held without bail.

The D.A. was very tight lipped regarding the evidence against Winchell. Gabor did warn the public defenders office that several potential witness have criminal records and may have been represented by public defenders in the past. Winchell is due back in court on July 11th.

An indictment was unsealed Friday morning in the murder of a Syracuse man.

Chauncey Winchell was arraigned in Madison County Court in Wampsville on 16 counts, including first degree murder. Prosecutors say he killed 41-year-old Mark Murray. Murray was last seen in Syracuse in May of 2008. His family said he was heading to his son's lacrosse game at the time. Murray's remains were found in Oneida in April of last year.

According to court documents obtained by CNY Central, Murray was shot and killed during a robbery. Prosecutors say Winchell was trying to steal Murray's 1994 Pontiac Firebird on May 22nd, 2008.

Investigators say this case involved a cross country search. Winchell was in jail in Arizona and brought to Central New York yesterday.

Winchell pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. He is being held without bail.