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40 Years to Life for Newburgh Halloween Party Murderer

Nija A.Johnson was sentenced to 40 years to life in State Prison in connection with the Halloween night shootings in Newburgh last October.

photo via Orange County District Attorney
photo via Orange County District Attorney

Johnson was only 17 when he committed the shooting last year. Seven people were shot at a party taking place at 119 Broadway in Newburgh. Two people died as a result of the action taken by Johnson. The Orange County District Attorney’s office states that Nija went to the location looking to kill someone.

Johnson, who was 17 years old at the time of the murders, had admitted that he intended to kill someone he had been in a fight with when he fired a pistol at least ten times, striking seven party-goers.  Two young women attending the party died as a result of the gunshot wounds inflicted by Johnson.

Five others were injured in the shooting. One victim is wheelchair bound and another still has bullet fragments in him, officials say.  

Johnson admitted in court that the only reason he stopped shooting his still fully loaded gun, was because he was forcibly disarmed by another person attending the party.  

In February Johnson pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the second degree and five counts of attempted murder in the second degree. He will spend at least 40 years in prison for all the charges. After that he will be eligible for parole when he is 58 years old. However, it’s very likely he will not be granted parole and will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“This defendant will likely remain a threat to society even after serving four decades in prison, and hopefully the Parole Board will carefully consider whether he ever should be released,” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said. “The loss of two innocent young women’s lives, and the serious, and in some cases life-altering, injuries suffered by five other young people caused by these senseless shootings is almost incomprehensible.  It is truly chilling that the defendant sought to explain his behavior by telling an officer that, ‘Nobody fights anymore. We use our guns to settle things.’”   

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