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Auburn murder suspect rejects plea deal, maintains innocence, and heads to re-trial in March

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

In a significant turn of events in Cayuga County Court, Auburn murder suspect Gage Ashley, 26, has turned down a plea offer from the district attorney’s office.

Ashley is facing charges for the November 2019 shooting death of Joshua A. Poole and has decided against pleading guilty to second-degree murder, which would have carried a sentence of 21 years to life in prison.


This plea would have encompassed charges including first-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Ashley’s initial conviction was overturned in May 2023 by a state appeals court, citing an improperly constituted grand jury due to a member’s criminal conviction. The case is scheduled for retrial next month.