Kenoza Lake murderer gets maximum sentence


MONTICELLO – The man who broke into the home of an 83-year-old woman in the Town of Delaware on the evening of September 24, 2018 and beat her with a heavy blue glass vase and strangled her to death, was sentenced in Sullivan County Court on Friday to 40 year to life in state prison.

Toby Smith, 45, of Jeffersonville, was also found guilty of attempted assault, assault, strangulation, and criminal possession of a weapon.

Toby Smith

Smith attacked the victim, Lorraine Gempler in her home in the Town of Delaware and when a neighbor and friend, David Slater, arrived to visit, he saw Smith standing over Mrs. Gempler’s beaten and bleeding body, he attacked Slater with the same vase.

The two fought and with the aid of another neighbor, they were able to subdue Smith until Sullivan County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and took him into custody.

“Today the defendant was held accountable and responsible for the brutal murder of an innocent and widely beloved member of the community, Lori Gempler, and his separate attack on the man who caught him in the act,” said District Attorney James Farrell. “The acts of violence and murder perpetrated here by this defendant were pure evil. While no sentence can bring Lori back and restore this family and community from the pain they are enduring, it is hoped that the maximum sentence handed down today by the court will provide the family and community with some measure of comfort knowing that this murderer will likely spend the rest of his life in prison where he can hurt no one else.”

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