By Jay Behrke
GOSHEN – An Orange County grand jury Wednesday indicted a Spring Valley resident in the murder of Silver Lake firefighter Justin Speights.
Jauntae Brown, 20, was indicted one count each of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, and tampering with physical evidence – all felonies – and one misdemeanor weapon possession. SUNY Delhi Vice President for College Relations and Advancement, Brown has “been removed as a student.”
Speights was fatally stabbed while trying to stop a fight early on Jan.1, 2016 at a crowded house party on Paddock Drive in the Town of Crawford. “Throughout the course of the party there were reported skirmishes,” said Troop F Commander Joseph Tripodo. “Justin was breaking up a fight and subsequently was stabbed.”
Two more men have also been charged with the same tampering felony claiming they had deleted information from their cell phones shortly after the homicide took place. Legal notices indicate prosecutors plan to call on several witnesses at trial to identify Brown as the person who stabbed Speights.
Speights, a Scotchtown resident and four-year volunteer fireman with the Silver Lake Fire Department, was a young hero in training; just 20-years-old himself when he died, he had graduated from Pine Bush High School in 2014.
District Attorney David Hoovler had no comment for the press; Brown is being held in Orange County Jail without bail, awaiting arraignment in Orange County Court.