New York suspects in Marriott hotel murder seen in new mugshot photos
New York 'random' shooting probe near Marist College family event turns up 'bomb-making' manuals at Marriott hotel
FIRST ON FOX: Mugshot photos show the two ex-cons charged in connection with the "random" killing of a man gunned down in a hotel lobby while visiting a New York suburb for his son’s Marist College "Family Weekend."
Roy Johnson Jr. and Devin Taylor, who are both listed as homeless, were arrested Sunday on charges related to the early morning shooting at a Courtyard by Marriott, located just miles from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Booking photos obtained by Fox News Digital on Tuesday show each of the straight-faced suspects, who are being held at the Dutchess County Jail.
Johnson, 35, allegedly shot and killed the victim, 53-year-old Paul Kutz. Johnson was charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, and he was ordered held without bond. His mugshot photo shows him wearing a blue top and with a face mask looped around one ear, with a beard and one eyebrow slightly raised.
Records show he was booked into the jail’s custody around 2:11 p.m. on Monday.
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Taylor, 26, was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond, police officials have said. His mugshot photo shows a messy-haired, bearded man staring stone-faced into the camera and wearing an orange shirt.
Johnson was previously convicted of robbery and burglary, both in the first-degree, and spent years in prison, New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision records show. Meanwhile, Taylor was previously convicted of third-degree burglary, also a felony, and served time in prison, records show.
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Officers with the Poughkeepsie Police Department were called to a Courtyard by Marriott on South Road near Evergreen Avenue in Poughkeepsie around 7:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of a "disturbance" that involved shots being fired, the agency wrote in a post on Facebook.
Poughkeepsie is located about 80 miles from New York City and is also home to Vassar College and nearby Dutchess Community College. The death and the disturbing discoveries came at a time when relatives were visiting their loved ones’ campuses for similar weekend reunions.
Police arrived and discovered Kutz with gunshot wounds to his chest and torso inside the hotel, court records show. He was rushed to an area hospital but could not be saved.
Local news station NBC 4 New York cited a "source" in reporting that the suspects were allegedly smoking a "PCP-like substance" in a hotel room when the gunman went to the lobby for coffee. The gunman then allegedly began arguing with people in the lobby, at which time the suspect opened fire on the victim, the outlet reported.
Investigators determined shots were fired both inside and outside the hotel, which is located a little more than four miles from Marist College.
A search of the building revealed "manuals related to the making of explosive devices, as well as materials with the potential to be used as explosives" in a hotel room, police said.
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The gunman, Johnson, intended to shoot Kutz, but there were "no ties" between the victim and the gunman, Poughkeepsie Police Chief Joseph Cavaliere told reporters during a Monday press conference.
"The suspect did not know the victim," Cavaliere went on. "This, we believe, was a random act."
In a statement provided to Fox News, Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services Commissioner Sabrina Jaar Marzouka said the homeless suspects "were neither known as Department of Community and Family Services clients nor placed in that hotel by Dutchess County."
She added that the agency does not work with the Courtyard by Marriott "for any housing services."
Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro said the community extended its condolences to the victim's family, and he told reporters on Monday, "Innocent individuals convening in the lobby of a hotel, going about their business, were tragically impacted, and one life horrifically taken."
On Tuesday, he stressed that Sunday's shooting was "isolated."
"These were not individuals who were targeting anyone at the hotel that we're aware of," he added to Fox News Digital by phone on Tuesday. "And certainly, the victim was not a target of the suspects' activity."
He added, "We have a life ended because two criminals acted violently. And it is just one more incident that frightens and adds to the community's anxiety."
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Molinaro added that the crime did not specifically target Marist College and there is no known association between the suspects and the victim "or anyone at that hotel."
"Our community is safe," he went on. "We have tremendous public and tremendous law enforcement agencies doing their job every day."
Fox News' Alexis McAdams contributed to this report.