So if what this man did wasn't because his neighbor was an ex-sex offender, why bring it up?
By Heather Yakin
GOSHEN - A Middletown man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Orange County Court to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of his neighbor, a registered sex offender.
Richard Brown, 69, took the plea in Orange County Court, admitting that he shot and killed 54-year-old [name withheld] on Wickham Avenue the night of Feb. 6, 2012. Richard Brown was arrested three weeks later and charged with murder.
In exchange for the manslaughter plea negotiated by Brown's lawyer, Joseph Brown (no relation), and Senior Assistant District Attorney Maryellen Albanese, Brown will get 15 years in prison and four years of post-release supervision by parole.
Richard Brown's wife watched from the courtroom gallery, accompanied by a relative. They have attended each court date.
[name withheld]'s history as a convicted rapist and a registered sex offender didn't factor into his death. There had been tensions between the neighbors before the shooting, officials said at the time.
As he took his guilty plea, Richard Brown initially said he was trying to stop [name withheld]'s dog from killing him. Then, after Judge Nicholas De Rosa moved to cancel the plea and set a trial date, Richard Brown acknowledged that he intended to seriously harm [name withheld].
The defendant fired eight rounds from his .22-caliber Marlin rifle, hitting [name withheld] four times, Albanese told De Rosa.
"And when you did this, your intent was to cause serious physical injury?" De Rosa inquired.
"Yes," Richard Brown answered.
"And your conduct caused his death?"
Mrs. Brown declined to comment on the case.
Richard Brown remains in Orange County Jail, held in lieu of $250,000 bail or $500,000 bond. He'll be sentenced on Oct. 2.