The suspect involved in a March 2023 incident that resulted in the brutal murder of a 76-year-old man has been convicted in Orange County, and faces a lengthy prison sentence.

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Gruesome 'Broomstick Murder' in Newburgh, New York

On March 14, 2023, police responded to a call for assistance at a residence in the City of Newburgh, where James Rich, now 36, was arrested and charged with possessing cocaine.

Following his release, Rich returned to that same residence, later identified as his own home that he shared with a 76-year-old man. Reports indicate that upon returning to the residence, Rich attacked the elder man, impaling him in the head with a metal broomstick which ultimately caused the man's death.

Police crime scene

Following the deadly attack, throughout the next 24-hours, Rich was reportedly observed on surveillance video 'discarding bags of bloody clothing bearing the victim’s DNA that were believed to have been worn by Rich during the killing.' On March 17, 2023 in the early morning, local police found Rich hiding in the closet of a different apartment. Police share that the victim's cell phone which was recovered from the area police found Rich hiding.

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James Rich Trial Conviction

On Monday June 24, 2024, the Orange County District Attorney's Office issued a press release indicating that Rich was convicted of Murder in the Second Degree, as well as Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree.

Orange County District Attorney
Orange County District Attorney

He faces 25 years to life in prison, has been remanded to Orange County Jail without bail, and is set to be sentenced on August 27th.

In addition to thanking the New York State Police, and especially the City of Newburgh Police Department who led the investigation, District Attorney Hoovler shared the following regarding the brutal murder:

The case was challenging from investigation through trial and the hard-won conviction is a testament to the dedicated work of the police and prosecutors who saw that justice was done. I offer my condolences to the victim’s family and friends and I hope that this verdict will give them a sense of closure. The prosecution of violent felonies, most importantly in those cases that result in a death, remains the cornerstone priority of my Office and we will not cease in our pursuit of dangerous offenders.

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This list was compiled by crime maps on

Gallery Credit: Nick Kessler

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