David Stevenson sentenced in murder-arson case

Stevenson murdered live-in girlfriend, set their house aflame, and killed the family dog

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— David Stevenson, 39, of Port Jervis was sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison for murdering his girlfriend and torching their house, Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler announced on May 22.

Stevenson murdered his live-in girlfriend, the mother of his child, by bludgeoning her to death with a hammer and by slashing her throat numerous times with a butcher knife. Stevenson then set fire to the Port Jervis home where he and the victim lived with her three children. The victim’s dog also died in the fire.

Prosecutors argued that Stevenson's motive was the victim’s plan to leave with her three children. Stevenson had written a note stating that he could never be happy without the victim, so no one should be happy.

The girlfriend’s body was discovered in the bathroom near the body of the family’s dog.

At the prosecutor’s request, Stevenson was sentenced by Orange County Judge Jeffrey Berry to 25 years to life for second-degree murder, and an additional 25-year sentence for second-degree arson. The court granted the people’s application that those prison terms run consecutively.

Stevenson was also ordered to serve concurrent sentences on several lesser charges.

“I am gratified that this defendant was sentenced to the maximum sentences allowed under the law for these barbaric crimes,” Hoovler said. “This case is a stark reminder of the horrors of domestic violence. I urge anyone victimized by this type of insidious crime to seek help from law enforcement and those who partner with law enforcement, such as Safe Homes of Orange County, who provide assistance and support to domestic violence victims, before it is too late.”

Hoovler thanked the Port Jervis police and fire departments, Orange County Fire Investigators, and the New York State Police for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of these cases.

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