On November 6, 2023, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced the kick-off of a new public service initiative meant to reinforce his office’s ongoing commitment to aggressively prosecute the illegal possession and use of guns.
This two-pronged “Coming for You/Save a Life” public service initiative is designed to:
- Act as a harsh warning/reminder of the severe consequences for those who put our neighbors at risk through illegal gun possession and related violence.
- Encourage community members to contribute to making our streets safer by anonymously reporting someone who is carrying an illegal firearm or involved in gun-related violence.
The initiative will feature a series of billboards focused on warning offenders of harsh consequences of illegal gun possession, and a series of posters and postcards that encourage the anonymous reporting of those who possess illegal guns in Orange County. In addition, the campaign includes a powerful public service announcement video (VIEW BELOW) intended to drive home the negative impacts of illegal gun possession and the need for the community to contribute to making our streets safer.
To maintain the safety of our shared community, law enforcement needs the cooperation and assistance of the public to stand up in the face of illegal gun possession and use.
It’s time to put an end to gun violence across our communities, and you can help.
As part of the “Save a Life” initiative, law enforcement is urging the cooperation of members of the community to reach out to the dedicated confidential tip line to report illegal gun possession or use.
If you are a victim of, or witness to gun violence, or know of someone who is carrying an illegal firearm, law enforcement is asking that you be brave enough NOT to stay silent. Anonymously report illegal gun possession and/or activity to the District Attorney’s Confidential Crime Tip Line by calling (845) 291-2106.
Your bravery could save a life, maybe even your own.
To be clear, law enforcement’s pursuit of violent offenders does not – and will never – include the vast majority of gun owners who lawfully and safely possess legal firearms. To the contrary, the licensed/lawful possession of guns is an important right in our community. However, those who flout our laws and who use guns unlawfully against others pose a grave risk to us all. Police, prosecutors, and members of our community must work together to keep our streets safe.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD
Download a “Gun Violence Awareness” flyer or poster for display or distribution in your office, business, home, community centers, and anywhere else the message may be heard. (click on the image of your choice to download)
NOTABLE ILLEGAL GUN-RELATED CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS
- July 2023: Newburgh resident Lamont Williams, 29, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to 1st Degree Manslaughter and 2nd Degree Assault. At the plea proceedings, Williams admitted to using an illegal pistol in the City of Newburgh to fire at two people, killing a 29-year-old man and injuring a 5-year-old boy. FULL RELEASE
- June 2023: Middletown resident Wayne Lewis, 36, was sentenced to 12 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to Attempted 2nd Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon. At the plea, Lewis admitted that while in the Park Circle area of Middletown, he attempted to possess the loaded firearm, which he handed to another man. That second man proceeded to shoot a third man in the leg. Because of his criminal history, which includes two prior violent felony convictions, Lewis was found to be a persistent violent felony offender, which resulted in the maximum term of his sentence being life imprisonment. FULL RELEASE
- Oct. 2022: Bronx resident Desean Owens was sentenced to a total of 58 ½ years in prison in connection with attempted murder of a City of Middletown police officer and endangering nearby children. FULL RELEASE
- Sept. 2022: Newburgh resident Corey Owens, 29, was convicted of 2nd Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, and sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was found to be in possession of a loaded 9mm semiautomatic pistol on Van Ness Street in the City of Newburgh. Because of his criminal history, which includes prior felony convictions for weapons possession, assault, and animal fighting, Owens was found to be a persistent violent felony offender, which resulted in an increased prison sentence. FULL RELEASE
- Sept. 2022: Newburgh resident Cornelius Stubbs, 51, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 25 years after he was found guilty of breaking into a New Windsor apartment, and shooting both his estranged girlfriend and her new boyfriend. The estranged girlfriend died from her injuries. The verdict came after a month-long trial where Strubbs was found guilty of 1st Degree Murder, 2nd Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon, and several other felony charges. FULL RELEASE
“Unlike a typical DA who merely reacts to cases presented by law enforcement, a pro-law-enforcement DA works closely with these agencies right from the inception of an investigation. This approach fosters a seamless flow of information, enhances case preparedness, and bolsters the chances of securing convictions. Hoovler’s proactive involvement has not only streamlined operations but also facilitated the speedy resolution of cases, ultimately ensuring a safer environment for the community.”
“The courtroom is not just a battleground for pro-law-enforcement DAs but a platform for advocating for systemic change.”
“Hoovler’s focus is not just on locking away offenders; he is equally passionate about preventing crime in the first place. This is evident in his initiatives that emphasize community engagement, education, and outreach… he has played an instrumental role in addressing the root causes of crime. This preventive stance is a testament to his commitment to creating a safer and more harmonious society for everyone.”
— Excerpts from How a Pro-Law-Enforcement District Attorney Differs from the Norm; Written by Stanley Gatero, digitalbuzznow.com; September 23, 2023