Kavon Sanders, one of the four suspects in the heinous torture and murder of 39-year-old Juan Jose Gotay in Elmira, has been found guilty of first-degree manslaughter. The Chemung County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the conviction, which followed Sanders’ trial in Chemung County Youth Part Court. The accused was 16 when the crime took place in January 2021.
Initially, Sanders faced charges of second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and multiple counts of assault. Two co-accused, Thomas E. Bovaird and Malik M. Weems, earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree murder regarding Gotay’s death, with sentencing pending. Another suspect, Eddie Marte, awaits trial in Chemung County Court but is currently serving time at Attica Correctional Facility for unrelated charges.
The gruesome event, which spanned January 29-30, 2021, took place in two Elmira residences. The indictments detailed that Gotay was severely beaten, shot in the shoulder and leg, and suffered extensive traumatic injuries, including mutilations and burns. He was then bound with an electrical cord and his body disposed of in Ulysses Township, Potter County, where it was found in April 2021.
The motive behind the crime remains undisclosed, but officials mentioned that Gotay and the perpetrators were acquainted. Sanders now faces a potential 25-year prison term for the manslaughter conviction, with sentencing scheduled for a later date in Chemung County Court.