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Orange County News
For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher BorekThursday, October 11, 2018 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea to
Homicide in Port Jervis Drug Case
Defendant Sold Oxycodone to Disabled Man, Contributing to His Death
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Thursday, October 11, 2018, that, Katelynn Smith, age 24, of Port Jervis, pled guilty to Criminally Negligent Homicide and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, in connection with the April 18, 2018, death of a disabled Port Jervis man, who Smith had illegally sold oxycodone to. The District Attorney’s Office will be recommending that Smith receive a sentence of six years in prison, plus a term of post-release supervision, when she is sentenced on December 18, 2018, before County Court Judge William L. DeProspo.
When Smith pled guilty, she admitted that on April 18, 2018, she illegally sold twelve oxycodone pills to a quadriplegic man in his Port Jervis home. She further admitted that she helped the man take the pills by crushing them up and rolling up a dollar bill for him to snort all twelve crushed pills through. Smith acknowledged that she was aware the man was drinking vodka at the time and that he took other medications, including Klonopin, which is a sedative. Smith admitted that she then left the man’s home. The man later died, and autopsy findings revealed his cause of death to be a combination of oxycodone, alcohol, and the active ingredient in Klonopin.
Smith’s guilty plea may be the first time in Orange County history that a defendant has been convicted of homicide as a result of illegally selling drugs.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Port Jervis Police Department for their efforts in the investigation and prosecution of the case.
“Illegal drugs are destroying lives, families, communities,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “and drug dealers must be made to pay for the damage they are doing. Here, someone died as a result of this defendant’s actions in illegally selling him drugs. Sentences for selling drugs are one thing, but, hopefully, this case will send a message to all the illegal drug dealers out there: In appropriate cases, this office will seek to prosecute you not just for selling drugs, but for the deaths of those people that your drug dealing kills.”
District Attorney Hoovler commended Senior Assistant District Attorney Kelle Grimmer for her prosecution of the case.
A 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.