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> District Attorney - PR 073010a

December 7, 2015



Benjamin Cayea was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison today for the Thanksgiving 2014 murder of his girlfriend, Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson said.

A Tompkins County Court Jury convicted Cayea (dob: 7/31/1982) of Murder in the Second Degree on October 22, 2015 following a one-week trial. During the course of the trial, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Bonavia and Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama presented evidence and testimony to prove that on November 27, 2014, Cayea intentionally strangled and smothered his girlfriend, Shannon Jones, to death during an argument in their Village of Cayuga Heights apartment. Cayea then fled to a friend’s apartment, who eventually called the police. Cayea, who testified at trial, claimed the death was an accident.

Honorable Joseph R. Cassidy sentenced to Cayea to a term of 22 years to life in state prison.

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