Maximillion Cook murder suspects pleaded not guilty in county court

Local News

The two Rochester residents charged with second degree murder for the death of a man whose mutilated body was found in Syracuse pleaded not guilty in county court Wednesday afternoon.

Ash Aries, 30, and Charisse Walton, 36, are charged with the death of Maximillion Cook. They also face a nine count indictment that includes kidnapping and drug charges. Authorities believe Cook was shot and killed in Rochester and then taken to Syracuse. They are currently still being held behind bars.

Each of the defendants have their own lawyers. News 8 spoke with Walton’s attorney, Lawrence Kasperek, who says his client is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Kasperek said his office has received numerous calls, supporting Walton in hopes a judge will grant her bail. He also said Walton doesn’t pose a flight risk. 

“Miss Walton has no prior criminal record. She’s a mother of two children and she works in the area,” said Kasperek. “ She has an outstanding reputation in the community. She has family that is supportive of her circumstances as well as her coworkers, who have called in support of her.” 

He believes her role in the alleged crime will play out differently of what Ash could face if and when the case goes to trial.  They are waiting to receive discovery from prosecutors. 

“Well in the sense we have to decide who’s an actor and who’s not an actor, that’s going to be one of the issues. Clearly we are going to investigate, like what the government has investigated already,” said Kasperek. 

Both are due back in court next Wednesday for a bail application hearing. 

A third suspect connected to the case is Lamor Britton, 24, of Syracuse. According to court documents, Britton acted as a lookout while the body of the murdered victim was moved from the trunk of a vehicle to the basement of a home off Dearborn Place in Syracuse.  It states that the victim’s head, hands, and feet were separated from the rest of his body and loaded into a bag. Court documents state that Britton cleaned the interior of the car used to transport the victim by wiping down the interior and spray cleaner to eliminate any physical evidence. 

Britton faces a four count indictment, which includes concealment of a human corpse. 

Ash and Walton were arrested in March after a short police chase in Rochester. Officers said Ash and Walton were in a car that drove away from officers on Culver Road and later crashed into a dump truck on Clifford Avenue. Neither suspect was seriously hurt in the crash.

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