District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Verdict In Domestic Violence/Burglary Case

June 14, 2017

Newburgh Man Convicted after Jury Trial of Breaking into Former Girlfriend’s Apartment, Stalking her and Obstructing her Breathing in Violation of Order of Protection

Faces Up To Fifteen Years in State Prison

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, Garfield Bentley, 27, of Newburgh, was convicted after a jury trial before Orange County Court Judge Nicholas DeRosa of Burglary in the Second Degree, three counts of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, five counts of Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation, Stalking in the Third Degree and Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree.

During the trial prosecutors argued that at about 9:00 pm, on October 15, 2016, Bentley was seen peering through the apartment window of his former girlfriend in violation of an order of protection issued by the Newburgh City Court. Bentley had also been following the victim earlier that day, in violation of the order of protection. At approximately 11:00 pm that day, Bentley approached the victim while she was outside of her apartment, grabbed her hair and throat, and poured what appeared to be motor oil over her head. When the victim retreated into her building, Bentley forced his way partially into the building to continue his attack. The victim and her family succeeded in pushing him out. Bentley’s continual harassment and stalking of his former girlfriend included falsely reporting to police, using an assumed name, that the victim had been chasing children with a machete. Bentley faces up to fifteen years in prison when he is sentenced.

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Newburgh Police Department for their arrest and investigation of the case.

“The evidence in this case supported the jury’s verdict that this defendant intended on terrorizing and assaulting his former girlfriend,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “Violence against former intimate partners is a particularly serious crime that I, and my office, will do everything in our power to combat. I commend the courage of the victim in this case, and her family, for courageously refusing to be further victimized by this defendant. When an offender repeatedly violates an order of protection, the only appropriate sentence is one that includes lengthy incarceration. We all must stand together to prevent domestic abuse, both of those who live together, and the abuse of former intimate partners.”

District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Milza and Assistant District Attorney Anika Mohammed who prosecuted the case.

A 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.