District Attorney Hoovler Announces Felony Conviction After Jury Trial
in Case Involving Assault on Prior Intimate Partner
Middletown Man Convicted After Jury Trial of Assault in the Second Degree for
Injuring Woman by Slamming Her Face into the Roof of a Parked Car
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Thursday, December 6, 2018, Eric Gilchrist, 40, of Middletown, was found guilty after a jury trial before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown of Assault in the Second Degree, Assault in the Third Degree, and Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, for having twice assaulted the same woman, and for having violated an order of protection that had been issued on her behalf.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Gilchrist, who had dated and lived with the victim, assaulted her on at least two occasions. The conviction for the Class D violent felony of Assault in the Second Degree stemmed from an incident that occurred on July 24, 2018, near 10 Railroad Avenue in Middletown. Prosecutors argued that at that time Gilchrist became enraged at the victim, who was with another man, and forcefully slammed her face into the roof of a parked car, denting the car and causing the victim to suffer a broken nose, black eyes, a laceration, and other significant injuries and pain. The jury also convicted Gilchrist of having assaulted the same victim on May 14, 2018, while they were in the Middletown apartment that they had shared at the time. Gilchrist was also convicted of Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, for having violated a Temporary Order of Protection that had been issued on behalf of the victim after the May 14, 2018, incident.
Gilchrist was remanded to the Orange County Jail without bail following the jury’s verdict. Prosecutors announced in open-court that they will be moving to have the defendant adjudicated a discretionary persistent felony offender, based on his prior criminal history. If the Court grants that application, Gilchrist faces a maximum sentence of twenty-five years to life in prison on the charge of Assault in the Second Degree. If the Court does not grant that application, Gilchrist faces a maximum of seven years in prison on the charge of Assault in the Second Degree.
District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Milza and Assistant District Attorney Anika Mohammed, who prosecuted the case.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Middletown Police Department for their investigation of the case, for Gilchrist’s arrest, and for their assistance with the prosecution.
“All those who suffer abuse and assault from intimate partners and former intimate partners are entitled to our support and assistance,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “The jury’s verdict that this defendant repeatedly assaulted this woman and violated an order of protection was clearly supported by the evidence. As was stated in court, based on our review of the facts of this case, and the defendant’s criminal history, we will be moving that he be sentenced as a discretionary persistent felony offender. My office will continue to treat all instances of domestic violence and former intimate partner abuse with the seriousness that those cases deserve and I urge all who are subjected to such abuse to reach out to law enforcement and to not-for-profit entities, like Safe Homes of Orange County, Inc., to stop the cycle of abuse, before it is too late.”
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.