October 18, 2021

Man arraigned in motel 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 charged with murder in a fatal stabbing at a Polkville motel of a man who had been out of jail 11 days was arraigned Tuesday in Cortland City Court, according to the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office.

John. G.W. Goss, 48, was sent to Cortland County Jail without bail on charges of second-degree murder and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, felonies, in the death of Attius Clakeley Jr., 31, of Cortland.

Goss is scheduled to appear March 23 in Cortlandville Town Court.

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 taken to Cortland Guthrie Cortland Medical Center in Cortland. Clakeley died of chest wounds; Goss received a cut on his hand and an injury to his torso, Lt. Todd Caufield of the sheriff’s office said.

A woman who said she owned the motel declined to comment Tuesday.

Goss’s motive has not been determined, Caufield said.

“We’re still following up leads and don’t have anything to add at this point,” he said. Assisting at the scene Monday 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.

He was charged with first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony, said Cortland County District Attorney Patrick Perfetti.

Clakeley was released Feb. 20, according to the Cortland County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.

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

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Staff Reporters S.N. Briere and Colin Spencer and City Editor Kevin Conlon contributed to this report.