BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Saratoga County law enforcement officials held a press briefing Tuesday afternoon. They announced the arrest and guilty plea of Jack Jeffers, 25, of Ballston Spa on a manslaughter charge.
Officials say Michael P. Ahern, then 42, disappeared from a building on Brickyard Road in Stillwater in January 2019, and that a missing persons complaint was filed with the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office on January 15 of that year. In time, the investigation would determine that Ahern, who lived at the former site of Rolling Pride Motorcycle Club, was shot and killed on January 6 over a personal dispute.
“This was a case that was a step-by-step, a piece-by-piece, investigation that resulted in the culmination of the charge and the plea for the death of Michael Ahern today,” said Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen.
Police say their lengthy investigation into Ahern’s violent disappearance led them to Jack Jeffers, who was arrested and charged with one count of manslaughter. Police said Jeffers was also charged with other offenses stemming from the confrontation, including grand larceny and tampering with evidence.
While Jeffers is in jail, the missing persons case is still open. Ahern’s body has not been found. Captain Jeffery Brown said the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department is still working to locate the remains.
“We do have some information now and we’re pursuing that, and we are hopeful we are going to be able to recover his remains to give his family that piece of closure,” Brown said.
Police also allege that in the months following the killing, Jeffers disposed of evidence, stole Ahern’s truck, and was found with illegal firearms. During the press conference, police alluded to tensions between Jeffers and Ahern that involved bike gangs, narcotics, and money.
“It was definitely a personal relationship there, [being members of the bike gang] for so long. I believe there was money issues. Certainly, I believe narcotics were involved,” Brown said.
Law enforcement announced that Jeffers pleaded guilty in Saratoga County Court to second-degree manslaughter and a lesser charge of criminal possession of a weapon. District Attorney Karen Heggen said he acknowledged his responsibility for recklessly causing Ahern’s death.
“Knowing what actually happened and knowing that there’s at least some closure to the case is certainly an accomplishment,” Brown said.
Jeffers is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, where prosecutors expect him to receive concurrent sentences. They suggested 4 to 12 years for the manslaughter charge, and up to nine years for the weapons charge.