MURDER IN ITHACA: Man indicted on arson, murder charges

An Ithaca man has been indicted on arson and murder charges, according to Tompkins County District Attorney Matthew Van Houten.

Houten says that 45-year-old Michael Davis started a fire in a building that caused the death of 28-year-old Josie Berrios in June. Davis was formally charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson, according to the District Attorney.

There was “no proof establishing the criteria for charging the defendant with a hate crime as defined by the Penal Law,” Houten said in a release.

The incident took place on June 13th when the body of Berrios was discovered just before 7 am. Police said their investigation into the death led them to Davis, who had a personal relationship with Berrios.

Court documents allege that Davis killed Berrios, and brought a can of gasoline to the building where Berrios had been found dead.

Davis is being held at the Tompkins County Jail without bail.

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