City man arraigned for murder in Polkville Motel stabbing

Attius Clakeley in March 2019

John G. W. Goss, 48, of Cortland

A city man was arraigned on the charge of murder Tuesday morning in the fatal stabbing Monday at a Polkville motel and then sent to the County jail without bail, according to police.

John G. W. Goss was charged with second-degreee murder and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon for stabbing Attius K. Clakeley Jr. in the chest early Monday at the Cortland Motel, killing him, according to the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office. Goss is scheduled to appear at 11 a.m. on March  23 in Cortlandville Town Court.

The Cortland County Sheriff's Office declined to provide further information regarding the stabbing this morning.

A search of Cortland County court records reveal Clakeley, 31, was released from jail just 10 days before he was stabbed. Clakeley was facing a felony charge stemming from his for brandishing a 13-inch knife and threatening to stab another man who refused to pay him $50 for fixing a bicycle and had not posted bail as of Feb. 20, according to the documents. But after a bail review on Feb. 20, Clakeley was released on his own recognizance, according to the document.

A search of Cortland County records regarding Goss, 41, yielded no results.

Clakeley told police he was homeless when he was arrested in September, according to a city police news release at the time. In that incident, he fought with the man he threatened after the other man disarmed him, throwing a child’s tricycle at Clakeley, the release noted. Police discovered Clakeley was carrying a child’s toy gun that was “...modified and fitted with a .22 caliber steel barrel and hammer making the ‘toy’ capable of firing a single .22 caliber round,” according to the news release. He also had a ski mask and gloves, despite the early September weather, and a flashlight which comprised a set of burglar’s tools, police said. In addition, he had a fake $100 bill, the release stated.

The day of his release, Clakeley posted on Facebook “Feels good to be out.” Clakeley was born in Montgomery, AL and recently lived in Syracuse, according to his page. He also enjoyed watching basketball and football, and enjoyed listening to country, pop and hip hop music. Clakeley would have celebrated his 32 birthday a week from today.