A Dix Hills man repeatedly stabbed his uncle, killing him, and the body was found by police after the restaurant that the victim patronized for 25 years requested a wellness check, prosecutors said in announcing the indictment.
David Cahoon, 40, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday on indictment charges of second-degree murder in the Dec. 3 death of William Cahoon, 70; second-degree possession of a forged instrument; and fourth-degree grand larceny, authorities said. He was also accused of fraudulently cashing a $1,800 check drawn from his uncle's account. He was held without bail.
Police had said Cahoon tried to avoid detectives by abandoning his dog and apartment and getting a new phone number, but Cahoon's attorney said the "circumstantial case" against his client was "rubbish."
Cahoon, a laborer, did visit his uncle that day and got a check from him, said attorney Michael Soshnick of Mineola, but the older man was alive and well when the nephew left.
"There was absolutely no argument, there was absolutely no violence," Soshnick said. "It was a peaceful, calm visit of a nephew who loved his uncle. . . . He did not know his uncle was killed until he was told by police."
Cahoon lay dead in the back bedroom of his Levittown home for some time until the Milleridge Inn restaurant in Jericho asked police to check on him, according to the Nassau County district attorney's office. Every Friday and Saturday, the older Cahoon would dine there, but then he failed to show up for about four weekends, officials said.
“The victim had a routine of visiting the same restaurant every weekend and his friends there became concerned when he did not show up for several weeks,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “According to the indictment, Mr. Cahoon’s nephew brutally stabbed his 70-year-old uncle to death and stole $1,800 by fraudulently cashing a check. Thanks to excellent police work the defendant has been apprehended and will now face justice.”
Officers on Jan. 4 found the older Cahoon with 18 stab wounds to his head, neck and chest, authorities said.
The nephew was arrested June 19.
Soshnick said his client told homicide detectives that he was not the killer and left his dog at his home in someone's care and got a new phone because he did not want to be questioned or followed again.
Cahoon wants a speedy trial, Soshnick said. "It is a nightmare for my client. He is not interested in any plea bargaining."