Cortland man sentenced to 4-12 years in fatal stabbing

Andrew Pilcher sits in Cortland County Court as his attorney Luke Fenchel addresses Judge Julie Campbell (Sarah Bullock/Cortland Voice)

CORTLAND, N.Y. — Friends and family members of the plaintiff and defendant filled the Cortland County Courthouse Thursday afternoon for the sentencing hearing of a city man who fatally stabbed another man in August.

Andrew Pilcher, 32, was sentenced by Cortland County Judge Julie Campbell to 4-12 years in state prison as part of a plea deal.

RelatedRead the victim impact statements in Pilcher sentencing

Pilcher pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in February as part of an agreement with the Cortland County District Attorney’s Office that he would spend no more than 4-12 years in prison for the crime of killing 28-year-old Damian S. Grant, of Cortland. The original charges against him were first-degree manslaughter, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, and tampering with physical evidence, two of which are felonies.

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 29 outside Pilcher’s upper-floor apartment on Main Street. In his statement to police, Pilcher said he defended himself during a fight with Grant by using a key; however, evidence from an autopsy and a sworn statement by an EMT officer at the scene contradicted that claim. Grant sustained a 2.5 cm laceration in his chest that was consistent with a knife wound, the EMT said.

Prior to the August incident, Pilcher had no criminal record in local courts.