October 16, 2021

Bail set in double stabbing

Defendant offered plea deal; details not released

S.N. Briere/Staff Reporter

A corrections officer stands watching as Matthew Sky Hewitt appears Tuesday morning in front of Cortland County Judge David Alexander. Hewitt pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces related to a stabbing downtown on Aug. 29. Police say Hewitt stabbing two men on Main Street.

Bail was set Tuesday at $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond for a Cortland man accused of stabbing two men Aug. 29 in downtown Cortland.

Matthew Sky Hewitt, 27, also referred to in court documents as Mathew, was arraigned in Cortland County Court on charges of first-, second- and third-degree assault, felonies.

Police said Hewitt used a butterfly-style knife to stab Jonathan D. Jeffrey, 23, several times in the chest, abdomen, side and buttocks following an argument over Hewitt’s contact with the daughter of Jeffrey’s girlfriend.

He is also accused of stabbing Sgt. Jake S. Garrett, 24, a U.S. Marine who intervened to stop the two men.

Cortland County Assistant District Attorney Christopher Simser originally asked for bail to be set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond, while defense attorney Natalie B. Miner asked for a lower bail as Hewitt “has no significant financial resources.”

Miner also said Hewitt might be able to live with his grandfather, who lives in the area, or obtain his own housing. Cortland County Judge David Alexander split the difference.

A plea deal was offered but Simser would not say what the deal included.

Jeffrey was at a friend’s house on Aug. 29 with Hewitt, Jeffrey’s girlfriend, Betty Ann Ryan, her 18-year-old daughter, Kayt E. Felko, along with other friends, according to Jeffrey’s deposition to the Cortland Police Department. Jeffrey knew Hewitt as Hewitt was his “best friends brother and had stayed at my (Jeffrey’s) place the night before.”

Around 10 p.m., Felko and Hewitt said they were going to walk another friend, Linda M. Moore, to Moore’s mother’s house on Elm Street. After they left, Jeffrey was going through his phone, which Felko also used, when he saw a message from Hewitt asking Felko for pictures of her breasts and to delete them from the phone afterward.

Jeffrey called Moore to find the location of the three because he was concerned about the message and that Hewitt is a sex offender. Moore responded that they were near Spiedini’s restaurant on Main Street.

When Jeffrey caught up with Moore, Felko and Hewitt, he asked Hewitt to “leave my family alone,” to which Hewitt “started flipping out and got in my (Jeffrey’s) face.”

The two then got in a physical confrontation on the ground. Garrett, a Marine Corps sergeant who was working at the Armed Forces Career Center on Main Street, overheard yelling from outside his office, he said in his police report. He said he saw Hewitt and Jeffrey arguing and yelling at each other and got between them to stop them. They continued to fight around Garrett.

Hewitt pulled out a butterfly knife and stabbed Jeffrey six times, though Jeffrey didn’t realize it until after Garrett told him of his wounds as Jeffrey blacked out.

After Jeffrey was stabbed, Garrett said he saw Hewitt run away. Garrett was also stabbed in the leg but didn’t realize it until an ambulance arrived for Jeffrey.

Hewitt remains in jail; the defense has until Dec. 6 to file motions.