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Man says sex taunt triggered homicide

Posted in Related Deaths
4-14-2005 New York:

Suspect: Photos, abuse led to actions

ORISKANY -- Sexual comments about female family members preceded the bludgeoning that killed a North Bay man, according to statements made by the Rome man charged in the death of his uncle, authorities said.

Authorities also said Ricky B. LaGasse told them after his arrest Friday that his uncle, Paul W. Jansen, 61 -- whom LaGasse referred to as a "pedophile" -- had raped him about 30 years ago.

These statements, discussed by attorneys and Oneida County sheriff's investigators during a felony examination Wednesday in Oriskany Village Court, revealed some of the details surrounding a possible motive for Jansen's death.

Following the hearing, Judge Richard Montgomery referred the matter to an Oneida County grand jury, finding reasonable cause that LaGasse, 44, of West Embargo Street, Rome, should be charged with second-degree murder.

Jansen's body was found shortly before 5 a.m. Friday on the living room floor at his residence on Route 49, deputies said. An autopsy later concluded that Jansen was killed by blunt force trauma to the head.

As a shackled LaGasse wiped away tears, Sgt. Robert Nelson described the comments LaGasse reportedly made to investigators that morning.

When LaGasse -- who along with his brother had called 911 to report Jansen's condition -- learned of his uncle's death, he told investigators, "I hurt my uncle, man. Don't you understand. I hurt my uncle. I didn't mean to hurt him," Nelson recalled.

According to statements LaGasse made to Nelson, Jansen showed LaGasse photographs of LaGasse's sister and mother, then taunted LaGasse with sexual comments about the two women, LaGasse proceeded to hit Jansen three times.

LaGasse also said Jansen attacked him with knives, Nelson said. LaGasse's arms and body were covered with "superficial lacerations" -- still visible Wednesday as he sat in court -- when he was apprehended later that morning following an hour-long standoff at his Rome apartment, Nelson said.

LaGasse is being held in Oneida County jail without bail. ..more.. by ROCCO LaDUCA

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