Police: Killing followed argument

GLOVERSVILLE – A city man argued with his wife of 51 years a few hours before murdering her Feb. 10, a city police officer testified Tuesday.

Frank Ostrander, 70, of 35 Steele Ave., was charged with second-degree murder Feb. 10 in the death of his wife, Sally Ostrander, 70, at the couple’s home.

City Police Detective Sgt. Mike Calbet testified in City Court during a preliminary felony hearing that Frank Ostrander confessed to having an argument with his wife around 3 or 4 a.m. Feb. 10 in which Sally Ostrander alleged he was an “alcoholic” who was “burning through money” and taking her medication.

Calbet said Frank Ostrander told him the couple went to sleep in separate rooms after the argument. She slept in a bed and he slept on a recliner, Calbet said.

Calbet said Frank Ostrander stated that after going in and out of sleep for the next several hours, he got up around 8 or 9 a.m., entered the room his wife was sleeping in with what was described as a hatchet or camping shovel, raised it above his head and struck her in the forehead with it.

Ostrander allegedly told Calbet he hit her multiple times, although he couldn’t remember how many. Calbet said the item broke during the attack.

Reading from the confession in court, Calbet testified that Frank Ostrander confessed Sally Ostrander asked, “Why are you doing this?”

Calbet told the court Frank Ostrander confessed to telling Sally Ostrander he wanted to “put her out of her misery” and send her to be with God.

After the first item broke, Frank Ostrander began to attack Sally Ostrander with a stove poker after the struggle made its way into the living room. Calbet said Sally Ostrander wrestled the fire poker away from her husband before he stabbed her with an object.

“[Frank Ostrander] said [Sally Ostrander] just wouldn’t die,” Calbet said.

Calbet said the investigation showed Frank Ostrander called a female friend named “Jessica” minutes after the incident.

Police have provided no further information about the friend.

During the interview, Calbet said, Frank Ostrander told him he “snapped.”

Calbet said Frank Ostrander’s original version, given hours before his second, was that he left his wife asleep and went to Walmart, where he didn’t buy anything or see anyone. Ostrander then went to a friend’s house and had a beer. He had another beer on the way home, where he said he found his wife in a “lump on the floor.”

Frank Ostrander called 911. Calbet said the call came in at 12:42 p.m. reporting a burglary at the residence, and Frank Ostrander said he searched the residence for an intruder.

Upon arriving at the scene, Calbet found Frank Ostrander sitting on the front porch of the home and asked him to come in to the station to talk with him.

Calbet said he noticed Ostrander had a cut on the inside of his left thumb, and Ostrander claimed it was dry skin he had been picking at. Calbet said he told Ostrander the wound was inconsistent with dry skin, and Ostrander had no explanation for the wound after that.

Ostrander is being held at the Fulton County Jail without bail.

Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown this morning said an investigation into the weapons is ongoing. He would not say whether authorities recovered the weapons.

Brown said the next stage in the case is possible grand jury action.

Authorities previously said they were looking for an associate of Frank Ostrander’s who may have knowledge of the incident. Brown wouldn’t say whether “Jessica” was the person. Anyone with information related to the case is asked to call police at 773-4506.

, 736-2100 or the Fulton County Crime Tips line at 736-5951.

Kerry Minor covers Gloversville. She can be reached at [email protected].

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