Orange County News
For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek
October 18, 2021 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Pleas
in Homicide/Commercial Burglary Case
Two Defendants Admit Taking Part in Burglary of Motor-Sports Store
While in a Van Being Pursued by the Police, Burglars Threw Motorbikes
and Go-Karts at Approaching Police Cars Damaging a Police Cruiser
Fleeing Van Crashes Killing One Occupant
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Monday, October 18, 2021, Luis Colon, 27, and Jose Tavera, 18, both of New Jersey, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to charges related to the burglary of a Town of Newburgh motor-sports store, where an occupant of the van that they were in which was transporting the stolen motorbikes and ATVs crashed, killing one occupant. Colon, who admitted being the driver of the van, pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the Second Degree and Burglary in the Second Degree. Tavera, who was charged as an Adolescent Offender, pleaded guilty to Attempted Burglary in the Second Degree. Pursuant to the plea agreement which was placed on the record at the time the defendants pleaded guilty, the District Attorney’s Office will recommend that Colon be sentenced to ten years in prison, and Tavera be sentenced to five years in prison when they are sentenced on December 15, 2021.
On December 6, 2020, at about 1:30 AM the defendants stole motorbikes and go-karts from the Big Boyz Toys motor-sports store located on Route 9W in the Town of Newburgh. The defendants placed the stolen vehicles in a van which was then pursued by marked patrol cars of the Town of Newburgh Police Department and the New York State Police, which had activated their lights and sirens. At times the van was travelling in excess of ninety miles an hour. In an apparent attempt to evade the pursuing police vehicles, occupants of the van threw stolen vehicles at the police vehicles, damaging a New York State Police marked police car. The van, which was driven by Colon, crashed while in the City of Newburgh, resulting in the death of one of its occupants.
Pursuant to the plea agreement placed on the record, the District Attorney’s Office will recommend that Colon be sentenced to concurrent sentences of ten years in prison and five years post-release supervision for Burglary in the Second Degree and six and one-half to thirteen years in state prison for Manslaughter in the Second Degree. The District Attorney’s Office stated that it would recommend that Tavera be sentenced to five years in state prison and three years post-release supervision and be denied Youthful Offender status. Both defendants agree to pay $2,180 in restitution for the damaged police car.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Town of Newburgh Police Department and the New York State Police for their investigation and the arrest of the defendants.
“Throwing vehicles from a moving van out onto the highway severely endangers not only the police, but other motorists and pedestrians,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “I commend the police officers who risked their lives to protect others. Had these defendants complied with police commands and been arrested they would have been released with no bail being set due to the recent bail reform laws. The death of this man was truly a senseless tragedy.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christine Maggiore and Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Mangold.
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.