Orange County jury convicts man in arson-murder trial

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GOSHEN – An Orange County Court jury Friday convicted a 32-year-old Montgomery man of murder and arson for setting a house on fire that resulted in the death of a resident.

Kevin Horan, 46, was rescued by firefighters from his Barron Road home, Town of Montgomery home on June 10, 2021, but died later of smoke inhalation at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh.

Prosecutors argued that Ryan Veloce, who had been an overnight guest, intentionally set the fire using kerosene because he believed Horan, who was asleep at the time, had stolen Veloce’s cocaine the night before.

District Attorney David Hoovler said the case was unique as it was based on circumstantial evidence.

“No one ever saw Mr. Veloce commit the crime. All the evidence in the case was that of coincidences and other things that all pointed to Mr. Veloce and ultimately, the jury believed the arguments that we put forth and he was convicted, and he faces life imprisonment,” Hoovler said.

At the time of the fire, a female tenant and a friend were also sleeping in the house. Both survived by jumping out of bedroom windows.

Town of Montgomery Police investigated the incident with assistance from the State Police, Orange County fire investigators, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, State Office of Fire Control and Prevention and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.