Thomas Bovaird, 25, of Horseheads, Pleads Guilty
Thomas Bovaird, 25, appeared before Chemung County Court for pre-trial motions on October 22. He was joined in court by co-defendants Malik Weems and Eddie Marte.
Explore more about him and his case. He faces multiple felony charges for the brutal dismemberment of a man, so use MyHeritage DNA tests to see if you may be related.
Early Life and Education
Bovaird and two accomplices, Malik Weems of Pittsburgh and a 16-year-old Georgia teen are accused of kidnapping, torturing, and killing Gotay before disposing of his dismembered body in Potter County in January 2021. Police claim to have identified additional suspects but have yet to make arrests.
Bovaird excelled as a standout player at West Liberty University in Wheeling, West Virginia, leading his Hilltoppers to seven consecutive 20-win campaigns and appearing in two Division II Final Fours. Additionally, several of his players went on to play professionally overseas.
Court proceedings are scheduled to start in September. Until then, the accused remains incarcerated at Chemung County jail after being taken from his Horseheads residence on Monday by New York State and local Elmira police forces and being searched.
Bovaird earned two All-American honors while at West Liberty University and averaged 24.2 points per game over his three year career. As the Hilltoppers’ leading scorer both single season and lifetime scoring.
According to the indictment, Bovaird and others kidnapped Gotay in January 2021 from Elmira home and tortured, then killed him before disposing of his mutilated body in Potter County Pennsylvania. They shot Gotay twice in both shoulders and legs as well as kick and punch him before cutting off parts of his body including his tongue.
Bovaird entered a plea of guilty on Tuesday to charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping in the first degree and three counts of second-degree assault; his sentencing will take place September 8th. Among other suspects Eddie Marte of New York City and Malik Weems from Pittsburgh also face numerous other allegations regarding this gruesome torture-murder case.
Achievement and Honors
Bovaird will graduate with honors from Colorado State University with an impressive 3.9 GPA in May and serve as student speaker at commencement in Moby Arena. She is also part of CSU’s Honors program and has taken advantage of unique opportunities like attending COVID-19 pandemic conference as well as studying abroad trip in Florence Italy.
She has served the ASID chapter as both Treasurer and as part of its Design and Merchandising Leadership Team, while as Vice President she helped expand its Mentorship program to encompass students of all majors.
Bovaird used the Matterport Pro2 3D camera during her internship this summer to photograph historic buildings using Matterport Pro2, creating architectural virtual tours which can be seen online and highlighted by the Sterling Journal-Advocate.
Thomas Bovaird of Horseheads has entered a plea of guilty in connection with Juan Jose Gotay’s torture murder, and will serve 18 years to life. This settlement concludes an indictment which initially included charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and three counts of second-degree assault.
The indictment stated that on Jan 29 and 30, Bovaird and co-defendants beat, tortured, and ultimately murdered Gotay from New York City before disposing of his remains in Potter County, Pennsylvania.
Bovaird, Eddie Marte and Malik Weems have been charged with torturing and killing Gotay at his Elmira home. Additionally, Weems pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping for which he faces 18 to life imprisonment; these three suspects are scheduled to be sentenced by July. According to ADA officials, other persons could still be brought up as suspects.
Thomas Bovaird of Horseheads plead guilty to kidnapping in the first degree and murder in the second degree for his involvement in the torture and killing of Juan Jose Gotay in Elmira on January 20, 2021. This plea meets an initial indictment which also included charges of first-degree kidnapping and assault in the first degree; other suspects such as Eddie Marte and Malik Weems still face these charges.
The district attorney indicates that Bovaird will appear before a court for procedural updates on October 22, with his next court date scheduled for December 17. Weems and Marte will both appear for pre-trial motions that day as they remain detained at a juvenile offender facility before moving onto adult facilities by December.