Edundabira Ojo[edit | edit source]
The brutal double homicide of sisters Shannon St. Croix and Kelly Exford
Edundabira O. Ojo went to the house of his friend Benjamin Ackridge, and old Army friend in Rome, bleeding from a cut on his hand. He threw away his shirt and borrowed another from Ackridge. He also told him that he had killed the girls in Watertown. Ojo had been Kelly's ex-boyfriend.
Ojo returned to Watertown and went to the home of his fiancee, Kelly Kanta, whom he also confessed to. He told her that before he cut Kelly's throat she had pleaded with him and that she loved him. He further told Kelly Kanta that when he was about to leave Shannon started to come in the door and he started stabbing her. Shannon also pleaded with him to stop because she had children.
After following many leads the Watertown Police charged Ojo with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder, two counts of assault in the first degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
While being questioned he confessed to the police too. A Pepsi can found at the scene of the crime had Ojo's fingerprints and DNA on it, boots Ojo were wearing matched footprints at the crime scene, a shirt he threw away at Benjamin Ackridge's house had blood on it that matched Shannon and Kelly's blood, and Ojo's car had Shannon's blood on it as well as Ojo's (from his cut hand).
The case was prosecuted by Jefferson County DA Cindy Intschert, Ojo was defended by Buffalo attorney Charles Greenberg. Ojo pleaded not-guilty.
Security at the high profile trial was increased, as Ojo was considered a flight risk. For the first time in Jefferson County a stun-belt was worn by a defendant and at one point five police officers escorted the accused. A plastic security fence was erected at the back of the Jefferson County Court Complex where prisoners are brought in.
After almost three weeks of testimony the jury deliberated for about an hour and a half before finding him guilty.
Edundabira Ojo was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of assault and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. At sentencing the judge called him an arrogant, indulgent man who did not deserve any mercy.
Ojo received two sentences of life-without-parole for murder in the first degree, and two sentences of twenty-five years-to-life for murder in the second degree.
Ojo, 25 at the time, was born in Nigeria. He was a former Fort Drum soldier who served from July 1999 to February 2005 as an infantryman, serving in both Kosovo and Iraq. The murders occurred two months after Ojo had gotten out of the Army.
Kelly and Shannan had a total of six children, who are now with family members.