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Posted on: February 15, 2023

District Attorney Hoovler: Guilty Plea in Vehicular Manslaughter Case


Orange County News
For Immediate Release                                                                Contact: Ryan Greenbaum 
 February 14, 2023                                                                  845.615.3657, 845.415.0868c


District Attorney Hoovler: Guilty Plea in Vehicular Manslaughter Case


Ezzial Williams Pled Guilty to Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree for Killing Local Surgeon While Under the Influence of Cocaine


Defendant Expected to be Sentenced to 3.5 – 7 Years in Prison, the Maximum Permitted Under Law


Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, Ezzial Williams, 38, of Newburgh, pled guilty in Orange County Court to Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree.  The plea was entered immediately before a jury trial in the matter was scheduled to commence.  Under the plea agreement announced on the record at the time that Williams, pled guilty, she[1] will be sentenced to three and one half (3.5) to seven (7) years in prison, which is the maximum permitted under law, when she is sentenced on April 25, 2023.  

As alleged in documents filed and statements made in court, Williams was operating a motor vehicle on Route 32 in the Town of Cornwall on October 10, 2021 in excess of the posted speed limit when she crossed over the double yellow line and crashed into the vehicle being driven by a local vascular surgeon.  The crash killed the surgeon.  Prior to operating the vehicle, Williams had smoked cocaine, some of which was recovered from a crack pipe found in Williams’s belongings after the crash.

Members of the New York State Police, including the Collision Reconstruction Unit, investigated the circumstances of the crash and determined that the victim’s vehicle was in the proper lane of travel and that the crash was caused as a result of the defendant’s impairment together with her speed and reckless driving by crossing over the double yellow line.

Williams admitted during the plea allocution that she was impaired by the consumption of cocaine at the time of the collision, was speeding and crossed over the double yellow line and thereby recklessly caused the death of the victim.

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police whose investigation led to the arrest of Williams. 

 “Drugged driving is a deadly choice that leads to terrible outcomes,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “We lost an innocent member of our community whose life was dedicated to helping others.  Incidents such as this one are not accidents, they are serious crimes and perpetrators need to be held accountable.  I hope that this case serves as a warning to those inclined to make the same senseless choice made by the defendant in this case.  My Office will continue to seek significant sentences in drugged driving cases, particularly ones that result in injury or death to others.” 

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Christopher Kelly and Assistant District Attorney Anthony Molina. 

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.

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