District Attorney Hoovler Details Prison Sentence for Port Jervis Repeat Offender

April 24, 2024

Joel Howell Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

Defendant Committed Robbery While Pending Sentence on Menacing a Police Officer Charge

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, Joel Howell, age 18, of Port Jervis, was sentenced in Orange County Court to an aggregate term of five (5) years in prison to be followed by five (5) years of post-release supervision relative to his previous pleas of guilty to Menacing a Police Officer and Robbery in the Second Degree.

As alleged in statements made and documents filed in court, on October 16, 2023, members of the Port Jervis Police Department were called because a man, later identified as Howell, was seen running down the street with a gun.  When the police arrived, a witness showed police the direction Howell went and pointed him out down the street.  When a Sergeant approached Howell in his police car, Howell turned to the officer and pointed what appeared to be a firearm at him before running away.  When Howell was apprehended, he was found to be in possession of a BB gun that appeared to be a firearm.

After Howell pled guilty in Orange County Court to Menacing a Police Officer for his conduct on October 16, 2023 and was pending sentence, he was again arrested by members of the Port Jervis Police Department.  On November 7, 2023, Howell approached a man he believed to be homeless and displayed what appeared to be a firearm but was later found to be a BB gun.  After displaying the gun, Howell, while being aided by juveniles who were present, stole items from the victim before a physical altercation between Howell and the victim ensued.

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Port Jervis Police Department for their investigation and arrest of Howell.

“This defendant’s ill-informed and incredibly dangerous actions have rightfully resulted in a prison sentence being imposed,”said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “I commend the professionalism of the Port Jervis Police officer for exhibiting restraint despite having what appeared to be a firearm pointed at him.  Notwithstanding the defendant’s young age, his repeated conduct put not only his victims in serious danger, but also created a risk to himself.  My Office will continue to see that justice is ultimately done in violent cases such as this one.” 

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Kelle Grimmer.

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.