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> District Attorney - PR - 02-02-12



October 21, 2015




District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson announced today that Benjamin Cayea, 33, has been convicted by a Tompkins County jury of one count of Murder in the Second Degree in the Second Degree.

Mr. Cayea was charged with intentionally causing the death of his girlfriend, Shannon Jones, 23, a Cornell student, on November 27, 2014 in their apartment at 400 North Triphammer Road in the village of Cayuga Heights. Prosecutors argued that Cayea intentionally strangled and smothered Shannon Jones during an argument on Thanksgiving evening. The jury of four women and eight men deliberated for ¬¬¬approximately four hours.

Sentencing is scheduled for Monday, December 7 at 9:30 am. The defendant was remanded to Tompkins County jail until sentencing.

The Cayuga Heights Police Department, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police handled the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Andrew Bonavia and Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama. Ithaca attorney Matt Van Houten represented the defendant. The Hon. Joseph R. Cassidy presided.