GOSHEN – Dennis McBee, 30, of Port Jervis, the man convicted of brutally murdering local shopkeeper Josef Kucher, 77, on November 7, 2014, was sentenced in Orange County Court on Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison.
McBee went into the victim’s shoe repair shop on Front Street in Port Jervis where he beat, stomped on, and robbed him. Kucher later died from the injuries. In addition to beating Kucher and stealing money from the cash register, McBee tried to conceal evidence of his crimes by ditching his bloody pants and boots.
McBee fled to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania after the murder. He was ultimately apprehended and extradited to New York.
District Attorney David Hoovler is satisfied with the sentence, but he noted one cannot escape the tragedy of the case with the death of Kucher.
“Everything he did in his life was for his family, his community and America, and it was all taken from him before he had a chance to retire and really enjoy it. It is a sad case from beginning to end,” Hoovler said.
Kucher was a Port Jervis shoemaker for 40 years, an Austrian immigrant, military veteran, and a prominent member of the Tri-State Area community.
Kucher’s storefront quickly became a memorial following the crime, and remains empty today