Chester woman pleads guilty to second-degree manslaughter

Goshen. Courtney Clemenza was one of four defendants charged in connection with the death of a man in the Town of Goshen on Dec. 18, 2019.

| 24 Mar 2021 | 05:09

Courtney Clemenza, 33, of Chester, has pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to second-degree manslaughter in connection with the Dec. 18, 2019, death of a man beaten and bound on Kipp Road in the Town of Goshen.

Three other individuals - Robert Haskell, 55, Timothy Smith, 37, and Seth Pelsang, 31, all of Goshen - were also charged in connection with the man’s death. On Sept. 4, 2020, Pelsang pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter

Haskell, Smith and Pelsang had been charged with crimes including second-degree Murder and second-degree kidnapping. Haskell was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Clemenza was also charged with second-degree kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.

The case, according to the DA

During prior court appearances, prosecutors argued that on Dec. 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 then she drove to another area in the Village of Chester where the victim was left on the side of the road, bound and wounded.

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

At the time Clemenza pleaded guilty last month, she admitted that on Dec. 18, 2019, she acted in concert with others in tying-up the man who had been beaten and transporting him in a car and leaving him on the side of the road bound and helpless.

Sentencing July 15

Clemenza faces up to five to fifteen years in state prison when she is sentenced. Her next court appearance is July 15.

District Attorney David M. Hoovler thanked the New York State Police for their investigation and the arrest of the defendants, as well as the Village of Chester Police who aided in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl.