Robert Haskell and Timothy Smith, the Last of Four Defendants Charged in Connection with the Kidnapping and Homicide of Man in the Town of Goshen on December 18, 2019, Plead Guilty to
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Friday, June 4, 2021, Robert Haskell, 55, Timothy Smith, 37, both of Goshen, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to Manslaughter charges in connection with the December 18, 2019, death of a man beaten and bound on Kipp Road in the Town of Goshen. Haskell pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree. Smith pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the Second Degree.
Two other defendants had previously admitted their involvement in the homicide. On September 4, 2020, Pelsang, 31, of Goshen, pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree. On March 24, 2021, Courtney Clemenza 33, of Chester, pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the Second Degree.`
During prior court appearances 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 by Haskell and Pelsang and then she drove with them to another area in the Village of Chester where the victim was left on the side of the road, bound and wounded. After about twenty minutes a motorist noticed the motionless, bound man. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead.
Pelsang is scheduled to be sentenced on June 14, 2021. Clemenza is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14, 2021. Haskell and Smith are scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on September 1, 2021.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police for their investigation and the arrest of the defendants, as well as the Village of Chester Police who aided in the investigation.
“Individuals cannot be allowed to take the law into their own hands or settle disputes with violence,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “Although each of these defendants are responsible for the victim’s death, the different plea agreements reflect what we believe to be each defendant’s individual culpability relative to that of the other defendants. One fact is clear, this man suffered a violent death that was as foreseeable as it was preventable.”
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl.
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.