Defendants Plead Guilty to Manslaughter, Reckless Endangerment, and
Attempted Tampering with Evidence
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, three defendants pled guilty before Orange County Court Judge William L. DeProspo, in connection with a January 25, 2019, City of Newburgh homicide, which led to a high-speed chase to Poughkeepsie. Steven Williams, 29, of Poughkeepsie, pled guilty to Manslaughter in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. Donnell Johnson, 24, of Poughkeepsie, pled guilty to Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree. Tysheed McPhee, 23, of Poughkeepsie, pled guilty to Attempted Tampering with Physical Evidence. When the defendants are sentenced, Williams and McPhee on June 24, 2019, and Johnson on June 27, 2019, Williams faces up to fifteen years in prison, Johnson faces an agreed-on sentence of two to four years in prison, and McPhee faces an agreed-on year in the Orange County Jail. Charges remain pending against Kyreem Selman, 18, of Poughkeepsie.
At the time of the guilty pleas, Williams, Johnson, and McPhee admitted that on January 25, 2019, at about 10:20 p.m., they were in a car that Johnson was driving in the vicinity of Hasbrouck and Williams Streets in the City of Newburgh. Williams admitted that he caused the death of a Newburgh man by recklessly shooting a gun toward the sidewalk, and that one of the shots struck the man, killing him. Johnson admitted that, to evade a pursuing Town of Newburgh police officer, he drove the car at excessive speeds, swerved between lanes among other motorists, and drove on the shoulder of the highway, until the chase ended when the car collided with a tree in the City of Poughkeepsie. McPhee admitted that, acting in concert with his codefendants, he attempted to dispose of the weapon by throwing it out the car window as the car was fleeing the scene.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Newburgh Police Department for their investigation and the Town of Newburgh Police Department for their assistance in apprehending the defendants.
The case is being prosecuted by Chief Trial Assistant District Attorney John Geidel.
“Gun violence in the City of Newburgh must stop,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “and those who commit it must be brought to justice. Through the heroic efforts and quick thinking of one Town of Newburgh police officer, we were able to catch the perpetrators of this homicide. My Office will continue our efforts to prevent gun violence where we can, and, when we can’t, to vigorously prosecute those who commit it.”
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.