Daughter of victim tells killer he is “pure evil” in courtroom


POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Court Judge Edward McLoughlin sentenced 33-year-old Peter Churchill to prison on Monday.  Churchill stabbed his mother repeatedly and killed a man with a car in May of 2020.

After lengthy negotiations between the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office and the convict’s attorney, Steve Patterson, Churchill entered a plea of guilty to two counts of assault in January.  Churchill is going to prison for 22-years for each of the two counts.  Under the law, the sentences will run at the same time.  He will also be on parole for five years when he is finally released.

Churchill was accused of stabbing his mother repeatedly in the neck, face, and head while in a drug and alcohol-fueled domestic incident.  He then left the apartment they shared in a car, striking and killing  73-year-old pedestrian Michael Yankosky, who was out for his evening stroll.  The full account of the crime spree can be found here.

“You took my father’s life,” said a sobbing Margaret Thorne, the daughter of  Yankosky, adding “You are pure evil,” as she addressed Churchill in the courtroom.

Attorney Patterson called the incident a “horrific tragedy” but noted that the guilty plea saved the victim’s family the trauma of going through a trial.  Churchill then spoke briefly, saying in part “Um…I can’t begin to explain how truly sorry I am,” while looking at the family.

McLoughlin told the defendant that he “caused grievous injury to your mother,” while noting that he never apologized to her.  In announcing the sentence Judge McLoughlin said “You should give up as much of your future as possible,” for killing a man.

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