Kutey kills himself in jail

COLONIE — Jason Kutey, jailed for kidnapping and threatening his ex-girlfriend, killed himself in his cell Wednesday morning at the Albany County Correctional Facility, police say.

Kutey, 28, who in June had held his ex-girlfriend hostage in her new boyfriend’s home in Guilderland, was sent to jail last Tuesday. He was sentenced in Albany County Court to 16-and-a-half years in prison for second-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary. In May, he had been arrested by the Colonie Police for using handcuffs to kidnap his ex-girlfriend and taking her to Lake Placid. A month later, out on bail, Kutey was arrested in Guilderland after holding the same woman hostage with an assault rifle in her new boyfriend’s home, on Woodscape Drive.

Under Kutey’s guilty plea, he received one sentence for both the Guilderland and Colonie charges.

Kutey’s lawyer, E. Stewart Jones, was unavailable for comment yesterday. Last week, after the sentencing, he told The Enterprise Kutey should have received a substantially-lesser sentence. Kutey has a history of psychological problems, Jones said, but he never intended to hurt anyone.
"He needs psychological help, counseling, treatment," Jones said. "The prison system is not good at providing that." Jones also said last week that Kutey was planning to appeal and that Jones was requesting Kutey receive counseling in prison.
Kutey’s ex-girlfriend said at the sentencing that she never felt threatened by Kutey, Jones said. "She said that Jason needs help," he said.

According to Sheriff James Campbell, Kutey’s body was discovered at 10:30 Wednesday morning by a corrections officer conducting a count. The officer found Kutey in his bed with a blanket pulled over his head, the sheriff’s department says. The officer pulled back the blanket and found a plastic bag tied over Kutey’s head with socks, the sheriff’s department says.

The jail’s medical staff attempted CPR, but Albany County Coroner Philip Furie declared Kutey dead at the scene, the sheriff’s department says.

Campbell told The Enterprise Kutey was not under observation for any psychological issues.
"He had no mental health problems," Campbell said.
Campbell said his department will conduct an investigation into the death, as will the New York State Department of Correctional Services. When asked if something was done wrong by the prison staff, Campbell said, "We can’t tell that right now."

This is the second suicide at the jail in 2005. The last was in June. Before that, Campbell said, there hadn’t been one since 1998. Currently, the jail houses 733 inmates.

"Obsessive love"

In court papers in May, Kutey’s ex-girlfriend described her ordeal as Kutey drove her up the Northway to a cabin in Lake Placid.
"I was very scared," she wrote. "Jason told me that he was going to kill himself and he wanted me to watch because I broke up with him."

After spending a night at the cabin, the woman told Kutey she would give him a second chance, and he agreed to take her back to her car in Latham. The Colonie Police arrested Kutey shortly after he dropped off his ex-girlfriend.

The woman’s Delmar roommate had called the Bethlehem Police after she couldn’t reach her roommate on her cellphone or Kutey’s cellphone. Kutey had called the roommate the night before and said his ex-girlfriend was spending the night with him.
"I was worried about her and, at that point, it just felt weird," the roommate wrote in a deposition. "I knew that [she] wasn’t going to get back together with Jason and that she was with a new boyfriend. It didn’t add up."

In June, over a hundred police officers and paramedics swarmed the quiet McKownville neighborhood where Kutey was holding his ex-girlfriend inside her new boyfriend’s house.

Albany Police Detective Jack Grogan told The Enterprise after the incident how, after two hours, he got Kutey to surrender to police and let the woman go.

Grogan didn’t think Kutey was a threat to the woman, he said. Grogan actually had to convince her to leave the house, because she was worried Kutey would kill himself, Grogan said. About 10 minutes later, he convinced Kutey to come out, too.

During the dramatic exchange Kutey had with Grogan, Kutey revealed that he just wanted someone to listen, the detective said.
"They broke up and he couldn’t handle it," he said.
"There’s no question the events that occurred were not normal circumstances," Jones said last week. "But, it was not a true hostage situation. He was not someone acting out of intention to harm. It was obsessive love. He had the misguided belief that he could win her back, that taking these steps showed he cared for her."

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