December 1, 2021

Cortland man takes plea deal in stabbing of 2

A Cortland man accused of stabbing two men in August on Main Street agreed Tuesday in Cortland County Court to a plea agreement that will send him to prison for five years.

Matthew Sky Hewitt, 27, also referred to in court documents as Mathew, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, bringing a sentence of five years in prison and five years of post-release supervision.

Hewitt was charged in August with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, felonies.

Police said Hewitt used a butterfly-style knife Aug. 29 to stab Jonathan D. Jeffrey, 23, 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 Marine Corps Sgt. Jake S. Garrett, 24, who intervened to stop the two men.

Cortland County Assistant District Attorney Christopher Simser made the plea offer to defense attorney Natalie B. Miner just before Tuesday’s hearing to discuss use of evidence and how the evidence was collected, Miner said.

She asked Cortland County Judge Judge David C. Alexander to discuss the agreement with Hewitt in court, and Hewitt agreed to the deal, waiving his right to a trial. He will be sentenced March 31. His bail continues at $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond. 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, and other friends, Jeffrey told Cortland police. 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 three because he was concerned about the message and that Hewitt is a sex offender. They were 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 fight on the ground. Garrett, a Marine Corps sergeant who was working at the nearby Armed Forces Career Center, overheard yelling, he told police.

He said he saw Hewitt and Jeffrey arguing 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 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.