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Orange County News For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek May 25, 2021 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney Hoovler Announces State Prison
Sentence in Stabbing/Arson Case
City of Newburgh Man Sentenced to Total of Seventeen Years
in Prison for Stabbing Woman and Setting Her Residence on Fire,
and for Assaulting Inmate in the Jail
Defendant Had Been Released with No Bail for
Assaulting Same Woman Two Days Earlier
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, Anthony Mahabir, 39, of the City of Newburgh, was sentenced in Orange County Court before Judge Robert J. Prisco to a total of seventeen years in prison in connection with the March 26, 2020, stabbing of a woman that Mahabir was arrested for having assaulted on March 24, 2020; for having intentionally burned the multiple family residence where the victim lived; and for assaulting another inmate in the Orange County Jail.
On October 21, 2020, Mahabir pled guilty to Assault in the First Degree, Arson in the Second Degree, and Criminal Contempt in the First Degree. At the time of his plea, Mahabir admitted that on March 26, 2020, he stabbed a woman that he had been arrested for having assaulted on March 24, 2020, and that he then set a fire in the multiple family residence where the victim lived on DuBois Street in the City of Newburgh. Mahabir had been released without any bail being set after he was arraigned in the City of Newburgh Court on March 24, 2020, on charges of Assault in the Third Degree for having assaulted the woman. Due to then-recently enacted bail reform laws, the City of Newburgh judge had no choice but to release Mahabir without bail. The Court did issue an order of protection, which commanded Mahabir to stay away from the victim. Although there have been some amendments to the “bail reform” laws since this incident occurred, even under current law bail cannot be set on a defendant charged with Assault in the Third Degree under these circumstances.
At the time of his plea, Mahabir admitted that on March 26, 2020, he went to the victim’s apartment building in violation of an order of protection. Mahabir admitted spreading lighter fluid and using matches to ignite a fire on the staircase landing between the second and third floors of the victim’s building, which he knew to be occupied. Mahabir admitted that he then proceeded to the victim’s third floor apartment where he stabbed her multiple times in the abdomen and arm. The victim, who suffered serious injuries and could not walk, was carried by other residents to the fire escape, where she was rescued by emergency personnel.
Mahabir was sentenced to fifteen years in prison and five years of post-release supervision on both the charges of Assault in the First Degree and Arson in the Second Degree, and one and one third to four years in prison on the charge of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree. Those sentences were ordered to run concurrently.
Mahabir had also pled guilty on April 13, 2021, to Assault in the Second Degree. At that time, he admitted having assaulted another inmate in the Orange County Jail on December 1, 2020. Mahabir was sentenced to two years in prison and three years post-release supervision on the jail assault charge. That sentence was ordered to run consecutively to the other sentences, and Mahabir received sentences totaling seventeen years in prison.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Newburgh Police Department for their investigation of the case and Mahabir’s arrest. District Attorney Hoovler also thanked the City of Newburgh Fire Investigation Unit for assisting in the investigation and the City of Newburgh Fire Department for their response to the fire.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for their handling of the assault that occurred in the jail.
“Protecting victims is one of the most important functions of the criminal justice system,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “and in this case the system failed to protect the victim. Although some changes to our bail laws were likely warranted, judges should be given discretion to consider an offender’s dangerousness in setting bail. In addition to causing horrendous injuries to the victim, this defendant endangered many others by setting fire to an apartment building in a city. This defendant’s dangerousness is clearly demonstrated by the fact that he continued to exhibit assaultive behavior even while incarcerated. The community will be safer while he is prison.”
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl.