October 20, 2021

Man charged with murder in Polkville stabbing

S.N. Briere/staff reporter

Cortland County sheriff's Lt. Todd Caufield holds up crime scene tape this morning at the Cortland Motel on Route 11 in Cortlandville as police section off the area where a stabbing was reported. The victim has life-threatening injuries, police said.

A Cortland man has been charged with murder in a fatal stabbing Monday at a motel in Polkville, according to the Cortland County Sheriff’s office.

John G.W. Goss, 48, of Cortland, was charged with second-degree murder and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, felonies, in the death of Attius Clakeley Jr., 31, of Cortland.

Goss was arraigned at 11:30 a.m. in Cortland City Court and sent to the Cortland County jail without bail pending an appearance March 23 in Cortlandville Town Court.

Goss’s motive has not been determined, said Lt. Todd Caufield of the sheriff’s office.

The stabbing occurred at 7:20 a.m. at the Cortland Motel at 3832 Route 11, according to the sheriff’s office. Clakeley and Goss were both transported to Cortland Guthrie Cortland Medical Center for injuries. Clakeley died of chest wounds; Goss received a cut on his hand and an injury to his torso, Caufield said.

Assisting at the scene were state police, the Cortlandville Fire Department and TLC Emergency Medical Services ambulance crews.

Goss was later transferred to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

He was released to investigators at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

An Attius Keith Clakeley Jr. was previously listed as an inmate in the Cortland County Jail, according to state Department of Corrections. However, no information on what he was in jail for or when he was released was available.

The investigation is ongoing. “We have much more to do on this,” Caufield said.

Anyone who may have information regarding this investigation can call the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 607-758-6151.

Staff Reporter S.N. Briere and City Editor Kevin Conlon contributed to this report.