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December 31, 2013

Assailant assaulted former girlfriend while their son, 7, watched, police say

Lucinda Knoll died of blunt force trauma, according to authorities


NORWICH -- William H. Danielson, now a murder defendant, allegedly assaulted his former girlfriend while she was putting their 7-year-old son into a vehicle early Friday morning, according to Chenango County law enforcement officials.

Lucinda Knoll, 39, of Norwich, suffered blunt force trauma to her head and died Sunday, authorities said during a media conference at the Chenango County Sheriff's Office this morning.

Danielson, 48, of Preston, was arraigned Monday in Norwich Town Court on a charge of second-degree murder, Joseph A. McBride, Chenango County district attorney, said. Evidence is that Danielson hid behind Knoll's trailer before the assault, the prosecutor said.

Danielson has waived his right to a felony hearing, which was scheduled for Thursday in the town court, McBride said, and the case will be presented to a grand jury in January.

Chenango Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting Jr. and Lt. Richard Cobb described Friday's incident but withheld some facts, including details about a possible weapon and autopsy results.

According to authorities, Knoll had been leaving home for her job at a local manufacturer and was left lying in her driveway at 110 Bourbon St. in the Maple Grove Trailer Park in the town of Norwich.

A neighbor who heard the 7-year-old calling for help, retrieved the child and returned to his own home and called 911, said deputies who reported that the emergency call was received at about 6:45 a.m. Friday.

Cutting said Danielson was arrested after he left the scene and returned to his Preston home. Danielson has an Oxford mailing address, deputies said.

Cutting said Knoll's family is going through a “tough time” and has asked for privacy to grieve.

A man at Knoll's Norwich home today who identified himself as her stepfather but withheld his name and further comment, said, Lucinda was a wonderful person and a wonderful mother.”

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