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District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea
in Four Defendant Homicide/Kidnapping Case
Seth Pelsang, one of Four Defendants Charged in Connection with the Kidnapping and Homicide of Man in the Town of Goshen on December 18, 2019, Pleads Guilty to
Manslaughter in the First Degree
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Friday September 4, 2020, Seth Pelsang, 31, of Goshen, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to Manslaughter in the First Degree. The plea was in connection with the December 18, 2019, death of a man found beaten and bound on Kipp Road in the Town of Goshen. Three other individuals, Robert Haskell, 55, Timothy Smith, 37, both of Goshen, and Courtney Clemenza, 32, of Chester, were also previously charged in connection with the man’s death.
Haskell, Smith and Pelsang had been charged with crimes including Murder in the Second Degree and Kidnapping in the Second Degree. Haskell was also charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree. Clemenza was charged with crimes including Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Kidnapping in the Second Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
During prior court appearances prosecutors argued that on December 18, 2019, the deceased man went to the house where Haskell, Pelsang and Smith lived armed with a shotgun. After the man was disarmed by the residents and restrained, Haskell then beat him with a baseball bat. Prosecutors argued that all the defendants helped tie-up the injured man. The man was placed inside Clemenza’s car and that he was driven to another area in the Village of Chester where he was left on the side of the road, bound and wounded. After about twenty minutes a motorist noticed the motionless, bound man. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead.
At the time Pelsang pleaded guilty, he admitted that on December 18, 2019, he participated, along with others, in tying-up the man, beating him with a baseball bat, transporting him in a car and leaving him in the road, bound and helpless. Pelsang also stated that he did not notify 911, or anyone else, that the injured man was tied-up on the roadway.
Pelsang is next scheduled to appear in court on December 17, 2020. Clemenza, Haskell and Smith are next scheduled to appear in court on October 1, 2020.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police for their investigation and the arrest of the defendants, as well as the Village of Chester Police who aided in the investigation.
“Individuals cannot be allowed to take the law into their own hands or settle disputes with violence,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “This man suffered a violent death that was as foreseeable as it was preventable.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl.
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.