Two plead guilty in homicide/commercial burglary case

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GOSHEN – Two New Jersey men pled guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown on Monday to charges related to the burglary of a Town of Newburgh motor-sports store where the occupant of the van they were in transporting stolen motorbikes and ATVs crashed, killing one occupant.

Luis Colon, 27, and Jose Tavera, 18, were involved in the heist from the Big Boyz Toys motor-sports store on Route 9W.

Colon, who admitted to driving the van, pled guilty to manslaughter and burglary. Tavera, who was charged as an adolescent offender, pled guilty to attempted burglary.

The district attorney’s office will recommend that Colon be sentenced to 10 years in prison and Tavera be sentenced to five years in prison when they are sentenced in December.

On December 6, 2020 at about 1:30 in the morning, the men stole motorbikes and go-karts from the store. They placed the stolen vehicles in the van which was then pursued by parked police cars from the Town of Newburgh and State Police.

At times, the van was traveling at over 90 miles an hour.

In an apparent attempt to evade the police, the men threw stolen vehicles at the police cars, damaging a State Police vehicle.

The van eventually crashed in the City of Newburgh resulting in the death of one of its occupants.

“Had these defendants complied with police commands and been arrested they would have been released with no bail being set due to the recent bail reform laws,” said District Attorney David Hoovler. “The death of this man was truly a senseless tragedy.”