The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 27, 2013

Former Ashtabula County resident receives 20 years to life for N.Y. murder

David McNamara won’t be eligible for parole for at least two decades

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

— A former Ashtabula County man was sentenced to serve 20 years to life in prison this week for the June 2011 strangulation death of his former girlfriend in New York.

David McNamara, 36, of Auburn, N.Y., won’t be eligible for parole for at least two decades, according to numerous news reports. McNamara is a 1995 graduate of Pymatuning Valley High School, sources have said.

Early last month McNamara pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Cayuga County, N.Y., regarding the death of Katie Socci, 29, a nurse who worked at a Syracuse, N.Y., hospital. Socci’s body was found in a shallow grave near her Auburn home. She was strangled in the home while the toddler she had with McNamara slept nearby, prosecutors have said.

During the Tuesday hearing, prosecutors said McNamara broke into the house, waited for Socci to arrive, attacked her from behind and killed her, according to news reports. He had already dug her grave, prosecutors said. One day earlier, McNamara sent a text message to a friend that said “I’m going to make headlines tomorrow,” cnycentral.com reported.

Prosecutors also said McNamara, who went to jail for an unrelated drug offense after Socci’s body was found, described the murder to inmates, according to the website. Prior to the crime, McNamara sent numerous threatening messages to Socci, whom he had met several years earlier while working as a nurse in Rochester, N.Y., news outlets reported.

Jealousy was the motive, prosecutors said, but McNamara — when given a chance to speak — disagreed, saying he saw something that made him act. McNamara did not elaborate, according to reports.

“You know what the truth is,” he told relatives of the victim. “You know why this happened.”

Family members also addressed the court, saying Socci’s death was a devastating blow.

Early in Tuesday’s hearing McNamara tried to withdraw the guilty plea he accepted last month, according to news reports. His motion was denied by the judge.