“I did do it. I did chop her up. I didn’t only chop her up, I chopped my landlord up too.”
Those are the words that a double-homicide defendant said Tuesday night regarding the killing of his grandmother and her landlord during his proceeding at Oneida County, N.Y., Centralized Arraignment Court.
Naythen Aubain, 29, is being held without bail on two counts of first-degree murder.
Police discovered the body of 90-year-old Katerine Aubain — his grandmother — in Clayville late Monday night. Some of the dismembered remains of the second victim, 87-year-old Jane Wentka, previously had been found in her residence Sunday. Other remains were found nearby on Albany Street.
“We’re still interviewing family members trying to determine a timeline based on who last had contact with them,” Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said.
Naythen Aubain was taken out of a Utica Police Department van Tuesday night in shackles and wearing a mesh hood over his face, often used when suspects try spitting at others. He was led into the courtroom, where he was arraigned by Judge Randall Smith.
The defendant muttered “Jesus Christ” several times as he was led into court by a squad of law enforcement agents. He also appeared to answer when the nearby group of media members asked him why he allegedly committed the offenses.
“She tried to touch me sexually, and I had enough,” he muttered.
He next stood before Smith, still in the hood and shackles. He also was barefoot.
As he leaned against the podium, he appeared to be pushing himself around on the surrounding officers. After a minute of this, he was shackled on a gurney-type device. He seemed to settle down after this.
“I killed her, chopped her up in the name of the lord,” Aubain said unprompted as he was before the judge. “She wanted to do nasty things, and I had enough.”
He is currently being defended by Attorney Adam Tyksinski of the Oneida County Public Defender’s Office. Tyksinski said he did not put much stock in his client’s mutterings.
“I wasn’t paying too much attention to what he was saying,” the attorney said. “I didn’t want him to say anything.”
Tyksinski said his client would appear in Utica City Court at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Naythen Aubain also will undergo a mental examination to ensure he can help in his own defense, the lawyer said.
The attorney said Aubain may have made his utterances in a effort to appear in control, even though he wasn’t.
“I think he’s a young man, and he’s been asked a lot of questions by law enforcement,” he said.
Prior to his arraignment Tuesday, Aubain had been in a medically induced coma since Sunday night, when he crashed his vehicle into a telephone pole on Bleecker Street.
That accident — and comments Aubain made at the crash site — were what led investigators to discover the crime scene on Tilden Avenue, where he lived with his grandmother in a second-floor apartment.
Upon entering the home, police found the the partial, dismembered body of the Aubains’ landlord, Wentka, in the ground-floor apartment where she lived, said Sgt. Michael Curley of the Utica Police Department.
“Police found body parts of Wentka inside her apartment, and her torso and head were found along Albany Street,” McNamara said regarding how the investigation progressed.
Katerine Aubain initially was reported missing, but by Monday night, authorities announced that they believed they had found her dismembered remains in a shallow grave along the 2000 block of Oneida Street in Clayville at a small park area where electric power equipment sits.
“It’s a dead-end road. Remote area,” McNamara said, adding the investigation is still trying to determine why that location was selected.
Police say an initial assessment suggests both women were stabbed.
“At this point, both bodies were taken to the medical examiner,” McNamara said. “At this point, it’s hard to tell what we’re dealing with.”
Curley said police expect to hear preliminary results from the medical examiner Wednesday.
According to state Department of Corrections information, an individual of the same name and age as Naythen Aubain previously served a five-year sentence in Auburn Correctional Facility for a second-degree robbery conviction.
In February 2018, Aubain was charged with second-degree harassment and criminal obstruction of breathing stemming from an incident with his grandmother, Curley confirmed. His case was transferred to a mental health court.
Looking toward the future, McNamara said he expects Aubain will attempt a psychiatric defense to his murder charges.
“We’ll have to hire a forensic psychiatrist to analyze the entire thing,” he added.
A lone Utica police patrol car was stationed in front of 1147 Tilden Ave. all day Tuesday, two days after the slayings.
With the exception of the police car, the Aubains’ Tilden Avenue neighborhood was peaceful.
“It’s always been a nice neighborhood. Quiet. It’s so sad,” said Sharon Corabi, who lives two doors down from the crime scene.
Corabi remembered Wentka and Katerine Aubain.
“She was always a hard worker,” Corabi said of the former. “She would be out there in her yard working.”
She remembered Aubain as a woman who took care of her grandson. “She was such a nice lady. She did everything for him,” she said.
The city already has had three homicides this year. In 2018, there were seven.