SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. -- A Spring Valley man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the New Year's morning stabbing death of volunteer firefighter Justin Speights, according to Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler.
Jauntae Brown, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in the death of Speights at a party in the Town of Crawford, Hoovler said.
Brown is expected to receive an agreed-on sentence of from five to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 15.
The homicide took place In the early morning hours of Jan. 1 when Speights and numerous other people were at a New Years’ Eve party at a private residence in the Town of Crawford, Hoovler said.
Many of the partygoers were under the legal drinking age of 21. At some point during the party, a number of fights broke out. Based on the investigation of the case, it is believed that Speights was trying to break up one of those fights when Brown stabbed him twice in the abdomen. The stab wounds ultimately resulted in Speights’ death, Hoovler added.
“Senseless violence and alcohol frequently go together and we owe it to our children and to ourselves to prevent those two things from mixing when children are involved. This case points up the tragedy that can happen when underage people are allowed to party with alcohol," Hoovler said.
When he pled guilty, Brown admitted that Speights was unarmed when he was stabbed and that he did not stab Speights in self-defense.
Hoovler thanked the New York State Police and the Town of Crawford Police Department for their efforts in the investigation and prosecution of the case.