DA Hoovler: Guilty Plea in Walden Shooting Case

May 18, 2024

District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea in Walden Shooting

Joseph Lightfoot Pled Guilty to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree

Defendant Faces up to 10 Years in Prison

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, Joseph Lightfoot, 18, of Wallkill, pled guilty in Orange County Court to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.  Under the plea agreement announced on the record at the time that Lightfootpled guilty, the People will recommend he be sentenced to ten(10) years in prison to be followed by five (5) years of post-release supervision when he is in court next on July 31, 2024.

As alleged in documents filed and statements made in court, on April 25, 2024, residents in the Village of Walden engaged in an argument with a relative regarding property they believed was stolen by the relative from their driveway.  During the course of the argument, Lightfoot, his girlfriend and another man exited a truck and began a physical altercation with the male resident.  During the altercation, Lightfoot took a loaded, unlicensed pistol out of his hoodie, aimed at the male resident and fired, striking his own girlfriend in the wrist and subsequently shattering the window of the vehicle.  Lightfoot later admitted to members of the Village of Walden Police Department that he possessed the gun, for which he did not have a permit, and shot it during the altercation. At the plea proceedings Lightfootadmitted to illegally possessing the loaded firearm.

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Village of Walden Police for their investigation and the arrest of the defendant.

“This defendant’s life-threatening actions endangered the lives of numerous people,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “While his careless choices thankfully did not result in the death of another, such an outcome was easily foreseeable under the circumstances.  This plea highlights my Office’s commitment to holding violent offenders accountable.  Together with the dedicated work of our law enforcement partners, we remain vigilant in our pursuit of gun violence.  We will continue to tirelessly work to ensure that illegal firearms and the offenders who use them are taken off our streets.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District AttorneyNicholas Mangold. 

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.