Lake Placid man charged with one murder, suspected in second murder

Rossie homicide arrest
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 11:50 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CANTON, New York (WWNY) - It is the first solid information released about the killing of William Freeman, who was found stabbed to death at his County Route 10 home in the town of Rossie last Thursday.

Tuesday, the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office charged 46-year-old Adam Smith with second-degree murder in that case.

“This individual that’s been arrested for this crime, pretty heinous crime, through our investigation appears to be a pretty dangerous individual,” Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe said at a news conference in Canton on Tuesday.

Smith is from Lake Placid, but officials say he also has a residence in the town of Gouverneur.

While he was charged with the murder Tuesday afternoon, Smith has been in custody since Thursday.

Officials say he was caught driving Freeman’s stolen truck on Interstate 81 near Watertown just three hours after Freeman’s death was discovered.

This case has also broken open the investigation into another murder in St. Lawrence County.

Officials say evidence found at the Rossie crime scene points to Smith as the primary suspect in the killing of Ronald “Huck” Durham.

The 72-year-old Durham was stabbed in the neck in the town of Gouverneur on February 11.

“Based upon the physical evidence that has been collected, as well as additional interviews that have been conducted, we do expect that Mr. Smith will be charged with that crime shortly,” District Attorney Gary Pasqua said.

State police are conducting that investigation and a charge could be coming soon.

Bigwarfe says Adam Smith knew both Freeman and Durham, but would share no further details other than saying they were “associated.”

He added the two murder victims did not know each other.

No motive has been released in either murder investigation.

Officials say Smith does have a criminal record and was out on probation when both men were killed.

Twenty-two-year-old Frederick Wing was originally charged in Durham’s death. Now, he’s out on probation.

Pasqua says while law enforcement doesn’t believe Wing took Durham’s life, Wing has intimate knowledge of what happened in the town of Gouverneur cemetery where Durham was killed, and that they believe he is sharing it truthfully.