Orange County News
For Immediate Release Contact: Ryan Greenbaum
October 12, 2022 845.615.3657, 845.415.0868c
District Attorney Hoovler Announces Bronx Man Sentenced to
Total of 58 ½ Years to Life in Connection with
Attempted Murder of a City of Middletown Police Officer
and Endangering nearby Children
Bronx Man Found Guilty After Jury Trial of Attempted Murder in the First Degree and Related Charges for Shooting of City of Middletown Police Officer in August 2020
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Wednesday October 12, 2022, Desean Owens, 31, of the Bronx, was sentenced to a total of fifty-eight and one-half years to life in state prison in connection with the August 29, 2020, shooting of City of Middletown Police Officer Evan Barone. On May 13, 2022, an Orange County Court jury found Owens guilty of crimes including Attempted Murder in the First Degree, Aggravated Assault Upon a Police Officer, Assault in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, and Criminal Trespass in the First Degree, for the incident which occurred on Myrtle Avenue in Middletown.
At the trial prosecutors argued that Owens attempted to kill a City of Middletown Police Officer, Evan Barone by shooting him one with a 9 mm pistol. Police Officer Barone had been flagged down while on patrol by a man who stated that the defendant was refusing to leave a house which he had illegally entered. The police officer accompanied the man to the residence. When Owens emerged from the residence, he fired a bullet from a 9 mm pistol at PO Barone, which passed through the officer’s left arm, permanently damaging a nerve and shattering a bone, and which then hit PO Barone in the chest area of his body armor carrier. Police Officer Barone immediately fired back, hitting the defendant before he could fire again. Both Police Officer Barone and the defendant were treated for gunshot wounds.
Owens was also found guilty of Reckless Endangerment because when he shot at PO Barone, behind him and in the path of the bullets was a car with children inside. Owens was also convicted of Criminal Trespass in the First Degree for entering and remaining unlawfully in the house while possessing the 9 mm semiautomatic pistol.
The Court sentenced Owens to forty years to life in prison on the charge of Attempted Murder in the First Degree; twenty-five years in prison and five years post-release supervision on both charges of Aggravated Assault Upon a Police Officer and Assault in the First Degree; and three and one-half to seven years in state prison on the charge of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree. All those sentences were ordered to run concurrently. Owens was sentenced to an additional consecutive term of fifteen years in state prison and five years post-release supervision on the charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, as well as an additional consecutive term of three and one-half to seven years in state prison for Criminal Trespass in the First Degree, for a total of fifty-eight and one-half to life in state prison.
In 2015, the District Attorney’s Office and all Orange County police chiefs adopted a protocol to be used when police officers use deadly physical force that results in death or serious physical injury to a suspect or bystander. The protocol designates the Orange County District Attorney’s Office as the “lead agency” in an officer-involved fatality investigation and provides that the New York State Police will be contacted and will be asked to assist the District Attorney in the investigation. The New York State Police are to process the scene of the incident to preserve all forensic evidence and will perform forensic analysis. The protocol is designed to enhance public confidence in the outcome of officer-involved fatality investigations, by removing the “involved police agency” from the investigation.
At the request of and with the consent of the City of Middletown Police Department, the protocol was activated in this investigation. New York State Police investigators and troopers responded to the scene of the shooting and have recovered evidence and interviewed witnesses. District Attorney Hoovler personally responded to the scene along with Assistant District Attorneys and a District Attorney’s Office criminal investigators. The City of Middletown Police Department fully cooperated in the investigation and, pursuant to the protocol, safeguarded the scene until the State Police arrived.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police and the City of Middletown Police Department for their investigation and their assistance in the prosecution
District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher Borek and Assistant District Attorney Peter Fernandez who prosecuted the case.
“Desean Owens has shown absolutely no remorse for either his actions in shooting the police officer or endangering the children who were dangerously within his line of fire,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “This defendant turned down a reasonable plea offer and claimed he was innocent despite the overwhelming evidence of his guilt. Police Officer Barone heroically prevented this defendant from further injuring him, and others by his fast actions. The community will be far safer while this defendant is incarcerated.”