Local man charged in connection with his grandmother’s death

FORT ANN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police arrested a man they say killed his 95-year-old grandmother over the weekend.

Police would not say what they believe the motive may have been for Kevin Gonyea, 50, who is accused of strangling his grandmother Leona Twiss to death. He remains at the Washington County Jail.

“Nothing could justify that kind of a horror show. You look at that and you shake your head in disbelief,” Patrick Larotonda, of Fort Ann, said.

Neighbors like Larotonda shocked and outraged by what the Washington County Sheriff’s Office says happened inside this home at 9 Twiss Road in Fort Ann.

“It’s just a sad case when the two people that are charged with the care of the victim end up causing their death,” Sheriff Murphy said.

Sheriff Murphy says Kevin and his wife Melissa Gonyea were taking care of Twiss and had moved in with her last August.

Police initially responded to a call on Sunday of a person who died from natural causes. District Attorney Tony Jordan says one law enforcement member began to have suspicions.

“I think it was observations that the responding officer made at the scene,” Tony Jordan, the Washington County District Attorney, said.

Officials say an autopsy showed that Twiss was strangled to death.

“Omg, that’s horrifying especially for an area like this where it’s quiet,” Larotonda said.

Melissa is charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence.

“She’s charged with hiding evidence that was used during the commission of the act,” Sheriff Murphy said.

Sheriff Murphy would not discuss the evidence that he’s is referring to. He did say that police have responded to the home on Twiss Road twice in the past for domestic issues between Kevin and Melissa.

“To think that something like that could occur after 95 years of life,” Larotonda said.

Investigators were trying to talk to neighbors on Wednesday and police say more charges are possible.

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