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District Attorney Hoovler Announces Final Guilty Plea in Port Jervis Robbery/Kidnapping Case
Port Jervis Man Pleads Guilty to Robbery in the First Degree in Connection with the Gun-Point Robbery of 67-Year-Old Port Jervis Man who was Locked in the Trunk of his Car
Defendant Who had Previously Admitted Raping Underaged Girl
Faces Up to 17 Years in Prison
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Thursday, January 23, 2020, Justin White, 30, of Port Jervis, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown, to Robbery in the First Degree, in connection with the gun-point robbery of a 67-year-old Port Jervis man, who was then locked in the trunk of his car. White, who previously pleaded guilty to Rape in the Second Degree for having sex with an underaged girl, faces a total of seventeen years in state prison when he is sentenced for both cases on March 5, 2020.
On August 3, 2018, in the vicinity of New Jersey Avenue in the City of Port Jervis, Justin White and Tranelle Drake, 31, of Port Jervis, confronted the 67-year-old man and displayed what appeared to be a pistol. They struck the victim in the face with the weapon, stole the man’s wallet, car keys and cellphone and locked the man in the truck of his car. The victim was able to escape from the trunk before White and Drake drove away in the victim’s car. A number of police agencies, including the City of Port Jervis Police Department, the New York State Police, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Walden Police Department attempted to locate the car. Sheriff deputies stopped the car in Village of Walden and White and Drake were arrested. An Orange County Grand Jury indicted White and Drake for crimes including Robbery in the First Degree and Kidnapping in the Second Degree.
On October 24, 2019, Drake pleaded guilty to the top charge of Robbery in the First Degree and admitted robbing the victim with what appeared to be a firearm. Pursuant to plea agreement placed on the record the time Drake pleaded guilty, he will receive a sentence of thirteen years in state prison, and five years post-release supervision, when he is sentenced on February 6, 2020.
During the course of the investigation of the robbery and kidnapping, police learned that Justin White had engaged in sexual intercourse with a female who was less than fifteen years old. White was indicted by an Orange County Grand Jury and on September 17, 2019, pleaded guilty to Rape in the Second Degree. At the time he pleaded guilty, White admitted that he had engaged in sexual intercourse with the child between July 1, 2018 and August 3, 2018, in the City of Port Jervis.
Pursuant to the plea agreement placed on the record at the time that White pleaded guilty to Robbery in the First Degree, he will receive a negotiated sentence of ten years in prison on that case and five years post release supervision, which can run consecutively to the two to seven years determinate sentence that he can receive on the rape case. Prosecutors will be arguing that he should be sentence to a total of sixteen years in state prison and twenty years post-release supervision when he is sentence on March 5, 2020.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Port Jervis Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Walden Police Department for their work on the case and their aid in the prosecution.
District Attorney Hoovler commended Executive Assistant District Attorney Leah Canton and Assistant District Attorney Colleen Decker who prosecuted the case.
“I admire the bravery and tenacity of the victim of this horrific robbery,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “and I hope that the survivor of the sex crime receives the help and support that she is entitled to. Predators who target older victims or children deserve lengthy state prison sentences. The community will be safer while these defendants are in state prison.”
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’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.