Records: Witnesses recount heated argument prior to Cortland stabbing

Warning: The following article contains explicit language and depictions of violence.

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CORTLAND, N.Y. — Terry W. Wormuth II and some friends arrived at the Palm Gardens bar on 52 Elm Street sometime before midnight Saturday evening.

Wormuth, 40, spent most of the night outside, sitting at a table in the back parking lot and smoking and chatting with friends.

A few hours later, Wormuth would be stabbed in the torso and taken to Cortland Regional Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.

Mark G. Dill, 58, of Cranston, Rhode Island, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the stabbing.

A second man, James Seybold, who was seen with Dill, was also arrested for failing to cooperate with the police investigation.

“You had too much to drink”

Several witnesses to the stabbing that occurred early Sunday morning told police that Terry Wormuth had become involved in a heated argument with another man in the parking lot in the back of Palm Gardens.

A friend who came with Wormuth to the bar that night spent most of the evening drinking inside, while Wormuth stood outside in the parking lot with a few other people.

Palm Gardens

The Palm Gardens bar on Elm Street on Friday afternoon (Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

When he walked out the back door, he saw his friend get into an argument with the man, who he recognized as someone who had frequented the bar.

“I heard Terry tell the person he was arguing with to ‘shut the fuck up and go home, you had too much to drink,’” the witness told investigators.

At that point, the friend says, Wormuth walked back towards the bar when the man told Wormuth that he had a pistol and would “shoot his ‘fucking ass.’”

Wormuth walked back towards Dill, at which point he was stabbed, the friend said.

“I heard Terry yell, “You motherfucker,’” his friend told police. He then noticed Terry’s shirt was covered in blood.

Who is Mark Dill?

Dill was drinking at the Palm Gardens bar Saturday evening when he went outside to go to the bathroom.

The truck driver from Cranston, Rhode Island, saw a man leave the bar and start yelling at him.

“I don’t know even know what he was yelling about,” Dill would later police. “The guy was big. I didn’t know him and I was afraid of him…I had to defend myself. I had a folding knife in sheath on my belt. I took the knife from the sheath and opened the blade on it. When the guy came at me, I just flailed.”

“I hope the guy didn’t get hurt real bad. I’m sorry. This isn’t me at all,” Dill told investigators.

Mark Dill, 58, of Cranston Rhode Island (Cortland Police Department)

Mark Dill, 58, of Cranston Rhode Island (Cortland Police Department)

James Seybold, the man arrested and charged for withholding information from police, reportedly told one bar patron that Dill was planning on going to Syracuse to visit family and had stopped in Cortland to visit him.

The owner of Palm Gardens told police that she had seen Seybold in the bar on several prior occasions.

Dill has been previously convicted of first-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle, a class E felony, in Onondaga County Court in 1995, according to police.

Who was Terry Wormuth II?

Wormuth was born and raised in the Cortland area, graduating from Cortland High School in 1993, according to his obituary.

He and his wife raised two children together. He was a longtime member of the Painters and Allied Trades International Union Local 178.

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Terry W. Wormuth II (photo provided)

In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting and riding his motorcycle and was a member of the Arachno Squad riding club.

Several friends and family members of Wormuth who were contacted by The Cortland Voice declined to be interviewed for this story.

A funeral service for Wormuth was held Friday at the Wright-Beard Funeral Home in Cortland. Family members said contributions can be made to Toys for Tots, 2755 East River Road, Cortland, N.Y.

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