Spring Valley man convicted of manslaughter in Speights case

An unsupervised party in the early morning of January 1, 2016 in Orange County left one young man dead and his slayer convicted March 8, 2017 of second-degree manslaughter.

Justin Speights, a 20-year old volunteer fireman, tried to intervene in one of those fights and was fatally stabbed twice by SUNY Delhi student Jauntae Brown of Spring Valley, also age 20.

The underage drinking and drugging party in the town of Crawford that night reportedly had many fights break out. The parents of the teen who threw the party were not at home and nearly 200 people showed up for the bash—ultimately leading to Speight’s death when fights broke out among s

The incident became the impetus for the Orange County Legislature to unanimously pass Orange County’s Social Host Law, which became effective March 17, 2017.

It took the Orange County District Attorney’s office several months to piece together the evidence, since cooperation from party attendees was not forthcoming. Two others who were at the party were arrested and charged with tampering evidence recorded on their cell phones. The cases against Rasso Chambers, 20, of Spring Valley and Robert Lemmont, 21, of Circleville, remain open.

“Senseless violence and alcohol frequently go together,” said Hoovler. “This case points to the tragedy that can happen when underage people are allowed to party with alcohol.”

Speights, who was remanded back to Orange County Jail after he pled guilty on March 7, faces 5-15 years in prison when he is sentenced May 15.