Guilty Plea in Connection With Gruesome Murder in Hudson Valley
A Hudson Valley woman pleaded guilty to her role in a kidnapping and gruesome killing of a man.
On Wednesday, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced Courtney Clemenza, 33, of Chester, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to manslaughter.
The plea was in connection with the December 18, 2019, death of a man beaten and bound on Kipp Road in the Town of Goshen. Three others, Robert Haskell, 55, Timothy Smith, 37, and Seth Pelsang, 31, all of Goshen, were also previously charged in connection with the man’s death.
On September 4, 2020, Pelsang pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Haskell, Smith and Pelsang had been charged with crimes including murder and kidnapping.
Prosecutors argued that on December 18, 2019, the deceased man went to the house where Haskell, Pelsang and Smith lived armed with a shotgun. After the man was disarmed by the residents and restrained, Haskell then beat him with a baseball bat.
Prosecutors argued that all the defendants helped tie-up the injured man. The man was placed inside Clemenza’s car and that he was driven to another area in the Village of Chester where he was left on the side of the road, bound and wounded.
After about 20 minutes a driver noticed the motionless, bound man. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead, officials say.
At the time Clemenza pleaded guilty, she admitted that on December 18, 2019, she acted in concert with others in tying-up the man who had been beaten with a baseball bat and transporting him in a car and leaving him on the side of the road-bound and helpless.
“Individuals cannot be allowed to take the law into their own hands or settle disputes with violence,” District Attorney David Hoovler stated. “This man suffered a violent death that was as foreseeable as it was preventable.”
Clemenza faces up to five to 15 years in state prison when she is sentenced.