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Murder Suspect Released from Jail

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/9/24 | 2/9/24



By Andrea Macko/Porcupine Soup

SCHOHARIE―The suspect in the November murder of a Middleburgh man has been released from jail.

On Monday afternoon, Michael Todtschinder, 24, of Middleburgh appeared in Schoharie County Court where Judge Ryan McAllister ordered him released because the Schoharie County District Attorney’s Office has not yet presented the case to a grand jury. According to jail records, he was out of custody by 3:20 p.m.

“After the arraignment, the judge holds a preliminary hearing. At a preliminary hearing, you and the prosecutor both present your case to the judge with witnesses and evidence. The judge will decide if there is enough evidence that you committed a crime to continue the case against you. If the judge decides that there is enough evidence, the prosecutor has 45 more days to take the case to the grand jury,” according to the New York State Unified Court System. “If the prosecutor does not present evidence that you committed any crime, the court must release you from custody.”

The release from jail does not mean charges have been dropped or dismissed. Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case.

Todtschinder is charged with second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence, both felonies, in the death of 41-year-old Jeffrey Mickle, also of Middleburgh.

Mickle was last seen and reported missing on November 25, leading the Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office to open an investigation into his whereabouts. On November 29, deputies located Mickle’s body in the area of Stone Store Road in Broome. According to the sheriff’s office, Mickle had been shot several times.

Further investigation led to the execution of multiple search warrants and the issuance of an arrest warrant for Todtschinder who was located on November 30 in Dalton, PA. Todtschinder was extradited back to Schoharie County, pleaded not guilty at arraignment, and until Monday had been remanded to the Schoharie County Jail without bail.

Also charged in the case is Walter Fahrenkopf, 39, of Fulton who was arrested for concealment of a human corpse, a felony. According to the sheriff’s office, Fahrenkopf allegedly assisted Todtschinder in hiding Mickle’s body. He was initially arraigned and remanded to the Schoharie County Jail but was later released on his own recognizance. Fahrenkopf is a native of Catskill.

Authorities have not yet disclosed a possible motive for the murder.



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