ITHACA, N.Y. — Court documents released to the public on Thursday morning have offered more information regarding the details of the Newfield homicide case, linking the crime to drug sales.
Camden Rundell, 30, was found dead about 100 feet from his front door on Dec. 2. Police quickly ruled his death a homicide and five people have been indicted on charges connected with the killing.
Tompkins County Court records detail the following narrative about the events:
On the afternoon of Dec. 1, records show that Roy Clements, 39, made a call to an acquaintance, asking to trade cars for the night.
Clements has been indicted on second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection with Rundell’s death.
Clements’ friend, who was already in bed by the time Clements arrived to pick up the car around 11 p.m., told his wife to give Clements the keys to their black Chevy Suburban.
According to her statement to police, the wife said Clements brought a woman with him when he picked up the vehicle, who she described as, “a heavy-set white female in her late 30’s to early 40’s, with light brown hair that was pulled back.”
While this was happening, Rundell was downtown with a friend, who would later become the primary witness to the alleged robbery and murder that happened the next morning.
Rundell’s friend, a 27-year-old woman, reported that the two returned back to Rundell’s home in Newfield at 221 Burdge Hill Road around 1:30 a.m. after a night out in downtown Ithaca.
She reported that it was just the two of them at his home until two females arrived unexpectedly to the house, one whom she identified as Jamie Gerhart, 38. According to the witness’s testimony, Gerhart was an ex-girlfriend of Rundell’s. This upset her, and she proceeded to stay in Rundell’s room while Gerhart stayed at the house for about an hour, and stated that she thought the woman who came with Gerhart had left.
Gerhart has since been indicted on second-degree murder and first-degree robbery charges in connection with Rundell’s death. While not identified in the witness’ story, Colleen McColgin has also been indicted on second-degree murder and first-degree robbery charges in connection with the crime.
While the witness was in Rundell’s room, the she said she heard Gerhart yell at her to “leave the house and get in the car.” When she emerged from the room, she said she saw a white male with a black ski mask searching the house. The witness then said she stuck her head outside the door and saw Rundell on his back and Clements “fully laying on top of (Rundell), pinning him down.”
The witness said that she was aware that Rundell had been growing marijuana plants in his basement and knew he had been selling it. Gerhart approached her, asking where Rundell kept the trimmings from his plants.
The unidentified masked man went to the basement with Gerhart, and they both emerged with “an arm full of marijuana plants.” The witness said the two had attempted to wrap the plants in a sheet.
The witness said after Gerhart and the unidentified man took the plants, Clements joined them and they all left the house, but the witness did not see the vehicle that they left in.
At this point, the friend rushed to Rundell, who was still in the same spot where he had been pinned down in the yard. After attempting CPR, she called 911 and police arrived shortly afterward.
Melissa Minnick, 39, was also charged with fourth-degree conspiracy in connection to the crime. Court documents state that Minnick purchased several items such as dog food, sleeping pills, and ski masks from Wal-Mart and provided them for use in the robbery.
Tompkins County Sheriff’s Lt. Dan Donahue said police were still following leads into the John Doe involved with the crime. He is described as a white male, approximately 5’9″, with blue eyes. Acting District Attorney Andrew Bonavia said he could not comment about the indictment of John Doe.
Featured photo: Police investigate the scene of a Newfield homicide Dec. 2. Photo by Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice.