Milan man pleads “Not Guilty” to the murder of his wife

Not Guilty Plea

A Milan man charged with first-degree murder after his wife was found dead in May entered a plea of not guilty in Division One of Sullivan County Circuit Court on August 4.

Twenty-one-year-old Edward James Elijah “Eli” Withey waived formal arraignment. The case was passed to September 8 for a status review.

Withey was also charged with the felonies of armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse. A probable cause statement says Withey’s wife, Mattie, was found on the floor in the couple’s apartment in the 300 block of North State Street with an apparent gunshot wound to her face.

Upon Eli Withey’s arrest, law enforcement observed red stains, which appeared to be blood, on the hooded sweatshirt he was wearing.

The probable cause statement notes that, during the execution of a search warrant at the apartment, officers found a .22 caliber Savage rifle in the bedroom in which Mattie was found and a half-pint Ball jar with ammunition in the living room.