Rochester Police: 2 women plead not guilty to murder charges in deadly Zoo Road stabbing

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The two women accused of stabbing a man to death Wednesday morning pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

Kristin Dean-Krueger, 29, and Shannon Rienholtz, 39. appeared in Rochester City Court to face the charges.

Police say the two stabbed and killed James Wooden, who is either 67 or 70 years old. Wooden was found unresponsive in the parking lot in the area of Zoo Road and Lakeshore Boulevard near Durand Eastman Park at around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Wooden died at the scene.

Investigators had about a mile-long scene blocked off as they investigated.

Around the same time as that call near the park, News10NBC also found a scene at Minder Street and Pullman Avenue in the city. Investigators say they quickly determined the scene was related. At that scene on Minder Road, they found Krueger and Rienholtz, who were both then arrested.

According to court paperwork, Rienholtz and Dean-Krueger live in the same house in the 19th Ward. While prosecutors have not shared a motive, or how the three all knew each other, they did say they don’t believe it was a random act.

"I don’t know what they were doing in that park, I can say that they were known to each other at some point," Chief of Monroe County’s Elder Abuse Bureau Monica O’Brien said."That’s why police were able to come out and say that there was no danger to the community."

Rienholtz is accused of stabbing Wooden multiple times with a pocket knife and Dean-Krueger is accused of stabbing Wooden twice.

Both women were charged with second-degree murder in connection to the stabbing. Both will appear for a preliminary hearing Monday morning at 10:30.

They are being held in the Monroe County Jail without bail.

The stabbing marks the 61st homicide in 2021 and the second deadly stabbing this week following an incident on West Main Street on Monday. This brings the total number of deadly stabbings to nine.