Smith pleads not guilty to Durham, Freeman murders

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 12:19 PM EDT
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CANTON, New York (WWNY) - A man accused of two murders in St. Lawrence County has pleaded not guilty to all charges in a 14-count indictment, including two counts of first-degree murder.

Forty-seven-year-old Adam Smith was arraigned in county court Friday morning.

He’s accused of killing 72-year-old Ronald “Huck” Durham of Gouverneur and 67-year-old William Freeman of Rossie.

Friends and family of both Durham and Freeman were in the courtroom for the arraignment.

Durham was stabbed in the neck in the town of Gouverneur on February 11. His body was found at East Riverside Cemetery. Freeman was found dead on March 2 in his home at 258 County Route 10 in the town of Rossie.

Other charges in the indictment handed up by a grand jury on April 6 include second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, robbery, assault, burglary, and third- and fourth-degree grand larceny.

“The top counts of the indictment are the murder in the first degree counts. There are two of those - one for each of the alleged victims and they carry a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Those sentences could be consecutive, so that is a maximum possible sentence,” said District Attorney Gary Pasqua.

Smith is from Lake Placid and has a residence in the town of Gouverneur. He is being held without bail in the county jail.

Meanwhile, District Attorney Gary Pasqua filed paperwork in court Friday to officially drop the charges against 22-year-old Frederick Wing, the man who was originally charged with Durham’s murder. He is out of jail on probation.

Pasqua said Wing could be officially cleared of all wrongdoing as early as Friday night.

The grand jury indicted Smith on the following counts:

  • first-degree murder (2 counts)
  • second-degree murder (2 counts)
  • first-degree manslaughter (2 counts)
  • first-degree robbery
  • first-degree assault (2 counts)
  • first-degree burglary
  • third-degree grand larceny
  • fourth-degree grand larceny (3 counts)