JOHNSTOWN – A Utica man has been indicted on murder and arson charges in connection with an Ephratah woman’s death in May, Fulton County District Attorney’s officials said.
Anthony L. Dotson, Jr., 24, of Utica, is accused of stabbing to death 74-year-old Sara Stinnett May 13 at her home at 517 Route 67 in Ephratah.
Dotson is accused of causing her death by stabbing her in the neck. He is also accused of choking her and of setting fire to her home while she was inside, according to the indictment.
He faces one count each of second-degree murder, first-degree arson, first-degree assault and second-degree strangulation, all felonies, along with misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon.
He was arraigned Thursday and ordered held on $500,000 bail.
Dotson’s residence, which has also been identified as Yorkville, just west of Utica, is about 45 miles west of the murder scene. State police, however, previously indicated Dotson worked as a delivery driver for FedEx and had a route in the Ephratah area.
The investigation began just before 4 p.m. May 13 as troopers and Ephratah Volunteer Fire Department firefighters responded to a fire at the residence.
Stinnett, the owner of the home, was then found dead inside the residence, state police said.
Troopers arrested Dotson in early August.
The charges resulted from the investigation by the New York State Police, its Forensic Investigation Unit and Major Crimes Unit, along with New York State Fire in conjunction with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.