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Orange County NewsFor Immediate Release Contact: Ryan Greenbaum Tuesday, April 25, 2023 845.615.3657, 845.415.0868c
District Attorney Hoovler Announces All-Count Conviction After Jury Trial in Fatal Road Rage Stabbing Case
Wallkill Man Convicted of Manslaughter in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree
Defendant Faces up to 25 Years in Prison
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, Horace Duke, age 23 of Wallkill, was convicted after a jury trial in the Orange County Court of all counts against him including Manslaughter in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree for stabbing a 74-year-old man after a road rage incident on October 20, 2022. Duke was remanded to the Orange County Jail after the verdict. Duke is next scheduled to appear in court on June 20, 2023. He faces up to twenty-five (25) years in prison when he is sentenced.
As established at trial, Duke was involved in a motor vehicle accident with the victim, which escalated into a verbal argument in the vicinity of exit 119 of State Route 17 in the Town of Wallkill. During the course of the argument, Duke stabbed the victim once in the chest with a kitchen knife, puncturing the victim’s heart and causing his death.
An investigation conducted by the Town of Wallkill Police Department, New York State Police and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office resulted in Duke’s arrest. The case was presented to an Orange County Grand Jury which charged Jones with the crimes of Manslaughter in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked all of the law enforcement agencies involved for their investigation and the arrest of Duke.
“Road rage is dangerous and can escalate into irreversible acts of violence,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “The loss of life in this case was both senseless and preventable. The defendant was justly held accountable for turning a petty dispute into a violent tragedy. My deepest condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the victim in this incident. I commend the dedicated work of the police and prosecutors in this case who saw that justice was done.”
District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Assistant District Attorney Richard Giordano and Assistant District Attorney Jessica Sayre-Smith who prosecuted the case.
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.