Montgomery Man Accused of Intentionally Killing a Man by Setting His House on Fire While He and Two Others were Sleeping
Defendant faces being Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on December 17, 2021, an indictment was filed by an Orange County Grand Jury charging Ryan Veloce, 32, of Montgomery, with crimes including Murder in the First Degree and Arson in the First Degree in connection with the death of a man who died of smoke inhalation after he had been rescued from a fire at his Montgomery residence in June 2021.
It is alleged that after Veloce had slept overnight at the deceased victim’s residence located at 22 Barron Road, in the Town of Montgomery, from the evening of Wednesday, June 9, 2021, into the morning of Thursday, June 10, 2021, he intentionally killed the victim by setting fire to the residence while the victim and two other occupants slept. It is alleged that Veloce set fire to the house by igniting a flammable liquid that Veloce had poured on the floor of the bedroom where he had been sleeping. It is also alleged that Veloce left the house after setting it on fire, knowing that the three people were still sleeping in the house, unaware of the fire.
In addition to being charged with Murder in the First Degree, Veloce is also charged with two counts of Murder in the Second Degree: One count alleges that Veloce intentionally killed the man, and the other alleges that the deceased died as the result of Veloce committing the crime of Arson. Veloce is also charged with two counts of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree. and two counts of Arson in the Second Degree, which pertain to the two surviving occupants of the house, who had escaped the fire by going through windows.
On June 10, 2021, at approximately 6:52 AM, the Town of Montgomery Police Department arrived at 22 Barron Road after receiving reports of a housefire. They found the residence smoke-filled and on fire. Members of the Coldenham Fire Company, assisted by mutual aid agencies, also responded to the fire. Firefighters rescued a man from the living-room of the residence and police and firefighters administered medical aid, including CPR, until an ambulance arrived and brought the man to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. It was later determined that the man died of smoke inhalation.
A criminal investigation was conducted by the Town of Montgomery Police Department, who were aided by: Orange County Fire Investigators, who had conducted and examination of the scene; the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, who utilized a dog at the scene which had been specially trained to detect flammable liquids; and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, which conducted a detailed cause and origin examination of the scene, which included taking samples from the floor of the residence for analysis by the New York State Police Laboratory. Investigators from the New York State Police Montgomery Barracks and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office also aided in the investigation.
On December 8, 2021, Veloce was arrested by the Town of Montgomery Police Department and charged with Murder in the Second Degree and Arson in the First Degree. He remains remanded in the Orange County Jail without bail, pending his arraignment in Orange County Court on the indictment.
“Arson investigations are time-consuming and demand meticulous attention to detail and I commend the Town of Montgomery Police Department, our Orange County Fire Investigators, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the Orange Cunty Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police for their professionalism and untiring efforts in this case,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “A home is the one place where one should feel safest and my deepest condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased. I also thank the firefighters, and other first responders, who did everything in their power to save lives and property at this incident, and regularly throughout Orange County.”
Chief John Hank of the Town of Montgomery Police Department said, “The hard work and dedication of all the involved agencies made it possible to seek justice for the victim and his family. This horrible act shocks the conscious of all involved. We will continue to work with all our partners in emergency services to aid the victims of crimes and vigorously pursue the offenders.”
The case is being prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Borek and Assistant District Attorney Michael Roche.
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.