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Nicholas Fiebka Guilty of Murder in the First Degree

District Attorney

On June 7, 2024, Nicholas Fiebka, 21, of Schenectady, was convicted by a jury after a trial in Schenectady County Court of two counts of Murder in the First Degree in connection with the death of William Horwedel and Alesia Wadsworth on November 21, 2022 in the Town of Princetown. Mr. Fiebka is the son of Alesia Wadsworth and was raised from the age of 3 by William Horwedel who was Ms. Wadsworth’s longtime companion.  Mr. Horwedel left behind 3 sons, 2 of whom are members of the New York State Police, and the third is currently attending the NY State Police Academy.

On November 21, 2022, Mr. Fiebka entered his mother’s residence armed with an AK47 rifle which he had modified to hold an illegal drum magazine capable of holding 75 rounds of ammunition and a binary trigger device which discharged 2 rounds for every trigger pull.  The investigation determined, from analysis of ring camera footage and evidence collected at the scene, that Mr. Fiebka was inside of the home for 32 seconds and discharged at least 44 rounds from his weapon.  Mr. Fiebka was taken into custody the next day in Schenectady by members of the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Street Crimes Task Force while he was on his way to turn himself in at the Schenectady Police Department.

At the trial, the defendant did not contest that he was the perpetrator of the crimes, instead he argued that he was not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect. In support of this claim, his attorney Mark Sacco called a psychologist, Dr. Jacqueline Bashkoff, who opined that Mr. Fiebka suffered from a delusional disorder that caused him to believe he was justified in killing his mother and Mr. Horwedel. In response, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Christina Tremante called a psychiatrist, Dr. Jason Hershberger, who found that Mr. Fiebka, although suffering from the mental disease of schizophrenia, fully appreciated that he was killing his mother and Mr. Horwedel, and that it was wrong, and a crime. The prosecution also showed that Mr. Fiebka had a longstanding hatred of his mother that provided a motive for his actions. Alesia Wadsworth had been terrorized by her son prompting her to evict him from their home and obtain an order of protection in December of 2021. The order remained in effect at the time of the murder. Assistant District Attorney, Michael Nobles, a member of the trial team, presented to the jury evidence extracted from the defendant’s phone which showed his search history including: “manslaughter-definition,” “did Ted Bundy have any survivors,” “standoff meaning,” “deadliest school shooting in US history,” and “are psychopaths good at war.”

The jury deliberated approximately 3 hours before finding Mr. Fiebka guilty of all charges. Based upon his 2 convictions of Murder in the First Degree he faces a maximum sentence of life without parole. These crimes were first degree murder because he killed two people in the same criminal transaction. The jury also found Mr. Fiebka guilty of the following 6 charges:

-          Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree for possessing a weapon with the intent to use it unlawfully against another

-          Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree for possessing a weapon outside of his home

-          Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 3rd Degree for possessing an assault weapon

-          Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 3rd Degree for possessing a large capacity ammunition feeding device

-          Criminal Possession of a Rapid-Fire Modification Device for the binary trigger system

-          Aggravated Criminal Contempt for violating the order of protection

District Attorney Robert M. Carney stated: “I thank the New York State Police for its thorough professionalism in the investigation of these terrible crimes and the family and friends of Bill and Alesia whose presence in the court throughout this trial was a great source of support for our trial team. I think anybody that did view this trial would agree that Christina Tremante, in her cross-examination of the defense expert and in her summation made it crystal clear that suffering from a mental disease is not enough, that the defense of insanity in a murder case is reserved for those that truly don’t understand that they are killing people or believe that doing so is not a crime or morally wrong. Nicholas Fiebka knew full well what he had done and that is was very wrong.”

The case was investigated by the New York State Police with assistance from the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department.  The trial was held before the Honorable Matthew J. Sypniewski. The People were represented by Assistant District Attorneys Christina Tremante and Michael Nobles. Attorney Mark Sacco represented Nicholas Fiebka.