Charged killer pleads not guilty to motel shooting
Sean I. Mills
The man from Rome charged with the fatal shooting at the Red Carpet Inn pleaded not guilty in the first half of his virtual arraignment in county court on Monday morning.
Wilfredo Cotto Jr., 40, appeared virtually before Judge Robert L. Bauer on Monday on one count of second degree murder and two counts of second degree criminal possession of a weapon.
A not guilty plea was entered in Cotto’s name during the proceedings and his case was adjourned until Wednesday to find him a lawyer and complete the arraignment.
Cotto is currently being held in the county jail without bond due to a parole violation.
Law enforcement officials say Cotto shot and killed a 28-year-old man
Benjamin J. Davis, of Ulster County, while Davis stayed at the Red Carpet Inn on Lawrence Street on November 15.
Authorities said Cotto and Davis knew each other, then Cotto and another man fled the scene.
Cotto has been locked out of the breach since December, authorities said.
The second man involved remains under investigation, according to
According to state records, Cotto served four previous state prison sentences.
He was released on parole on June 26, 2020, charged with grand theft.