murder

In the wake of 5-year-old Kenneth White's murder, relatives are battling in court, unsuccessfully, to care for his two young sisters who remain in the county's custody.

Nine-hundred people gathered in front of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary School on Monday night for a candlelight vigil, memorializing kindergartner Kenneth White who was murdered last Thursday.

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BERNE — At the darkest time of the year, nine hundred people stood shoulder to shoulder, holding candles and singing. Snow fell lightly Monday night, the flakes turning wet as they landed on faces and mittens and boots while the crowd stood in front of the elementary school at Berne.

They were there to mourn a little boy the vast majority of them did not know. Kindergartner Kenneth White was slain in his home last Thursday, police said, his body pitched over the snow bank across from the trailer where he lived with his twin sister and their younger sister. The 19-year-old daughter of their aunt and legal guardian stands accused of murder. Tiffany VanAlstyne, too, had once attended the school where the crowd gathered.

KNOX — While 5-year-old Kenneth White’s aunt and legal guardian was away for 30 minutes to visit his school Thursday afternoon, he was strangled in his home, police say.

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland Police have dealt with five homicide cases in the last 27 years.

Unlike the current investigation of murder of a family of four, the earlier Guilderland homicides, each involved one victim and were solved relatively rapidly without so many different police agencies involved.

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With two new board members, the town's governing council was deliberative in its work, while the rest of the town celebrated its community institutions and a stunning murder case was closed.

 A student who killed his mother in 2001 planned to attack the high school, the cop now stationed at the school told the board last week during a presentation on safety. This was the first public mention of such an attack, surprising the board president.

ALBANY — Told that she brutally took her son’s life, Tracey Zetzsche accepted her sentencing on Nov. 1 as she recalled not how he died, but how much she loves him.

Zetzsche, 53, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter based on extreme emotional disturbance, reduced from second-degree murder after both parties in the case determined she had legitimate amnesia, unable to remember any of the facts surrounding the killing of 22-year-old Gabriel Philby-Zetzsche by knives to his heart and a hammer to his skull. From July 26 to 30 during the summer of 2012, his body remained on the floor of their Westerlo apartment.

Judge Stephen Herrick described the “horrific nature” of the injuries to Philby-Zetzsche and said that evidence showed his mother tried to remove signs of his murder.

The mother charged with the murder of her son in Westerlo during the summer of 2012 accepted a plea deal of manslaughter. Her plea was not a direct admission of wrongdoing, but that the evidence against her was compelling. 

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