One of four defendants in kidnapping and homicide case pleads guilty

Goshen. DA: The 31-year-old Goshen man admitted he participated, along with others, in tying-up the man, beating him with a baseball bat, transporting him in a car and leaving him in the road, bound and helpless.

06 Sep 2020 | 01:40

Seth Pelsang, 31, of Goshen, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to a charge of first-degree manslaughter on Friday, Sept. 4.

The plea was in connection with the Dec. 18, 2019, death of a man found beaten and bound on Kipp Road in the Town of Goshen. Three other individuals, Robert Haskell, 55, Timothy Smith, 37, both of Goshen, and Courtney Clemenza, 32, of Chester, were also previously charged in connection with the man’s death.

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 charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.

The incident

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

What Pelsang admitted

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, at the time Pelsang pleaded guilty, he admitted that on Dec. 18, 2019, he participated, along with others, in tying-up the man, beating him with a baseball bat, transporting him in a car and leaving him in the road, bound and helpless. Pelsang also stated that he did not notify 911, or anyone else, that the injured man was tied-up on the roadway.

Pelsang is next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 17. Clemenza, Haskell and Smith are next scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 1.

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.

“Individuals cannot be allowed to take the law into their own hands or settle disputes with violence,” Hoovler said. “This man suffered a violent death that was as foreseeable as it was preventable.”