Utica, NY (WIBX) - Convicted sex offender Robert Blainey was in Oneida County Court today facing arraignment on several charges, including first degree murder, rape and robbery.

Blainey is alleged to have raped and killed Linda Turner, owner of the Davis Motel, then stealing her car. He was later arrested during a traffic stop in Pennsylvania.

According to District Attorney Scott McNamara, the highest charge against Blainey is one count of first degree murder.

"In New York State, in order to be a murder in the first degree, you have to have a murder in the second degree, which is with the intent to cause the death of another person, you cause the death of another person," McNamara said. "Then, you have to have one of thirteen aggravating factors."                   

This is the first murder of this type the D-A has prosecuted since taking the job. McNamara says other crimes falling into this category are murders in which officers are killed, though those are tried as aggravated murders.

Blainey's lawyer, public defender, Leland McCormac, said the public must remain aware of due process.

"What is essential at this point is to understand, and remember, that Robert is presumed to be innocent of all charges," McCormac said. "And certianly, my job as an attorney is going to be to ensure that all his Constitutional rights are zealously protected, within the bounds of the law."

The next hearing is scheduled for January 18th. McNamara says he expects to see the case go to trial some time in the spring.

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