ITHACA, N.Y.—Jeremiah L. Jordan, 40, was found guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence by a jury of 16 Tompkins County residents July 19. 

Jordan slashed the throat and stabbed the neck of 38-year-old Michael Monroe on the Six Mile Creek Walk in the early morning hours of October 28, 2022. 

Monroe was found lying face down in a pool of his own blood by two officers from the Ithaca Police Department (IPD) who responded to a call from a resident of a nearby apartment building, who also testified during trial. 

A trail of blood that begun at a bench just steps away from where Monroe was found dead indicated to police that Monroe likely attempted to crawl to seek help following the attack, according to the prosecution during trial.

The crime happened steps from the Tompkins County Public Library and the Ithaca Police Department.

Jordan is recorded from surveillance footage at the library walking away from the scene of the crime, down the Six Mile Creek Walk and into a nearby alley, where he disposed of a yellow-handled knife and purple glove he was wearing in a dumpster. 

Tompkins County District Attorney Matthew Van Houten said during trial that when Jordan left the scene, he was “holding a bloody knife” that was “actively dripping blood” onto the grassy area and on the sidewalk, all the way to the dumpster. 

Images of the dripped blood marking Jordan’s exit route were taken by Timothy Mones, an investigator for the New York State Police, just hours after the crime, as well as images depicting the murder weapon and blood-stained purple glove inside the dumpster. 

Mones testified as a witness for the prosecution that the blood was “still wet” when he took pictures. 

The week-long trial began July 10, and from the first day to the last, members of Monroe’s family were present to listen to evidence, arguments and testimonies presented from both sides.  

They sat near the front of the courtroom, just beside a large screen, and watched slideshows of graphic photographs of the blood-soaked bench Monroe was likely sitting on at the time of his murder, the surrounding crime scene, and stained clothes he was wearing when he was killed.

Images of slice wounds on two of Monroe’s fingers on his left hand, framed by dried blood, were used by the prosecution to depict to the jury obvious signs of struggle from the victim. 

During closing statements, Van Houten said the “only reasonable explanation for the actual evidence is that Michael Monroe was slashed and stabbed from behind, while he was sitting on the bench.” He tried to grab the knife with his left hand, and was cut.

The two men were seen together, according to prosecutors, at approximately 3:30 p.m. on a nearby surveillance camera from the Mobil gas station called “Chuck’s,” located at 540 W State Street. Then again, just before midnight, at 7-Eleven on 210 S. Cayuga Street, headed east. 

They are last recorded sharing a cigarette as they walk into an alley between the Urban Outfitters store and the public library. Events that transpired between approximately midnight and 1:00 a.m. are unknown because there is no surveillance footage, according to prosecuting attorney Van Houten during the trial. 

“We don’t know minute by minute, or step by step,” Van Houten said. “But we do know what happened to Michael Monroe. We know the end result.”  

The defense argued Jordan was acting in self-defense that night and that Monroe attacked him.

On October 29, the day after Monroe was murdered, Jordan told police he was selling methamphetamine “from the Jungle” to Monroe, and after he consumed the drugs, he “bugged out.”  

Monroe was known widely by family members, friends and co-workers as a “quiet and gentle” person, according to Van Houten during trial.

The prosecution argued that Jordan had provided a number of mistruths to police both during questioning at the Ithaca Police Department and outside his motel room that state investigators searched at The Economy Inn on Elmira Road. 

It was during this search that police found a backpack Jordan was filmed wearing the day of the murder. After DNA testing, state police concluded Monroe’s blood was on the fabric. 

Another investigator from the New York State Police present during questioning testified for the prosecution and said Jordan had been talking with police for “hours” before he first made the claim of self-defense, and said Jordan changed details of his story, multiple times over, even “within a self-defense narrative.” 

He said Jordan told the police “different versions” of a number of details surrounding the glove, and testified that Jordan told him he put the glove on before killing Monroe because he “didn’t want to be caught.” 

Van Houten said during closing statements that “lab testing tells [them] Jordan had the purple glove on when he stabbed Monroe.” 

The case was prosecuted by Van Houten with the aid of his Assistant District Attorney, Heidi Paulino. Ithaca attorneys Michael Perehinec and Joseph Kirby represented Jordan. 

Murder in the second-degree is classified as a Class A-I felony in the State of New York, which is punishable by a maximum of 25 years to life in state prison. Tampering with physical evidence is a Class E felony with a maximum sentence of up to four years. 

Sentencing is scheduled for August 25 at 11:30 a.m. before Judge John C. Rowley. 

Disclosure: Jordan’s defense attorney Michael Perehinec is a member of the Ithaca Voice’s Board of Directors.

Judy Lucas is a General Assignment Reporter for The Ithaca Voice. Have a story idea? Comment or question? You can reach me at or on Twitter @judy__lucas.