Four arraigned in murder of Chester man

GOSHEN – Four defendants were arraigned in Orange County Court on murder and kidnapping charges in connection with the death of Michael Partridge, 28, of Chester on December 18, 2019.

His body was discovered by a passing motorist in the Village of Chester. He had been severely beaten and bound and left on the side of a street.

On Thursday before Judge Craig Stephen Brown, Robert Haskell, 55, Timothy Smith, 37, Seth Pelsang, 30, all of Goshen, and Courtney Clemenza, 32, of Chester, were arraigned on charges of murder and kidnapping. Haskell was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon and Clemenza was charged with manslaughter, kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.

During the bail application, prosecutors argued that on December 18, 2019, Partridge went to the house where Haskell, Pelsang, and Smith lived armed with a shotgun. After he was disarmed by the residents and restrained, Haskell then beat him with a baseball bat.

Prosecutors argued that all of the defendants helped tie up Partridge, who was then placed inside Clemenza’s car and that he was driven to an area in the Village of Chester where he was left on the side of the road, bound and injured.

Clemenza, Pelsang, and Haskell were remanded to the Orange County Jail with no bail. Smith was remanded in lieu of $750,000 cash bail or $5 million secured bond or $6 million in partially secured bond.

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



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