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Cortland Murder Suspect Waives Felony Hearing, May Hire Private Counsel

Local News

Mike Hammond mug shot

The Virgil man accused of stabbing and beating a Cortland teen to death last Friday has waived his right to a felony hearing in city court, he remains locked up without bail.

23-year-old accused killer Michael Hammond II appeared in court Monday.

His initial appearance was delayed after a concern was raised about a potential conflict of interest between City Court Judge Elizabeth Burns and Hammonds attorney County Public Defender Keith Dayton. The proceedings were delayed until 2 o’clock when Assistant Judge Lawrence Knickerbocker could preside.

During the hearing, Dayton waived the hearing but did say Hammond’s family may be looking to hire a private attorney who may ask for the hearing.

Hammond is facing two counts of second-degree murder and first-degree burglary along with multiple counts of weapons possession.

Hammond is accused of stabbing and bludgeoning 16-year-old Amie Leland in her parents home on Lincoln Ave. In statements to police, Hammond says the two had been dating and Leland recently broke up with him. Hammond admitted to the killing but said he never intended to harm the teen. You can read his statements here.

After the hearing, County D-A Mark Suben offered a few comments. Suben says this is a tragic loss and the case is still under investigation. Suben assured the community that there is no danger to the public and credited the local police agencies with a thorough investigation.

Hammond was sent back to jail without bail and is due to reappear on May 20th.

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