The last of the four Orange County residents charged in connection with the December 2019 kidnapping and homicide of a man in Goshen have pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Robert Haskell, 55, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree, and Timothy Smith, 37, to manslaughter in the second degree following charges back in 2019 of the death of a man beaten and bound on Kipp Road in the Town of Goshen.  Both Haskell and Smith are Goshen residents.

The news of the guilty pleas from Haskell and Smith come months after two additional defendants admitted to being involved with the homicide.

Back in September 2020 it was reported that 31 year old Seth Pelsang, also of Goshen, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the December 2019 crime.

Earlier this year, 33 year old Courtney Clemenza also gave a guilty plea in front of an Orange County judge, to the manslaughter charges for her involvement with the homicide.

Prosecutors argued that on December 18, 2019, the deceased man went to the house where Haskell, Pelsang and Smith lived armed with a shotgun. After the man was disarmed by the residents and restrained, Haskell then beat him with a baseball bat.

Prosecutors argued that all the defendants helped tie-up the injured man. The man was placed inside Clemenza’s car and that he was driven to another area in the Village of Chester where he was left on the side of the road, bound and wounded.

After about 20 minutes a driver noticed the motionless, bound man. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead, officials say.

“Individuals cannot be allowed to take the law into their own hands or settle disputes with violence,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “Although each of these defendants are responsible for the victim’s death, the different plea agreements reflect what we believe to be each defendant’s individual culpability relative to that of the other defendants.  One fact is clear, this man suffered a violent death that was as foreseeable as it was preventable.”

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl, and sentencing for the four involved are scheduled as follows:

  • Pelsang - June 14, 2021
  • Clemenza - July 14, 2021
  • Haskell and Smith - September 1, 2021

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