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Ramapo Daily Voice serves Airmont, Chestnut Ridge, Hillburn, Hillcrest, Kaser, Monsey, Montebello, Mount Ivy, New Hempstead, New Square, Pomona, Sloatsburg, Spring Valley, Suffern, Tallman, Viola & Wesley Hills

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police & fire

Spring Valley Man Charged In Murder Of Popular Ex-HS Athlete, Fireman

Jauntae Brown, 20, of Spring Valley
Jauntae Brown, 20, of Spring Valley Photo Credit: New York State Police
Justin Speights
Justin Speights Photo Credit: File photo

Nearly a year after popular 20-year-old former high school athletic standout and volunteer firefighter Justin Speights was murdered at a New Year's Eve Party in Orange County, a Rockland County man has been charged in connection with the crime.

State police said at a Friday morning news conference that Jauntae Brown, 20, of Spring Valley, stabbed Speights to death at the party, attended by between 80 and 100 people, in which Speights was reportedly attempting to break up a fight.

Brown was charged with murder in the second degree and arraigned Town of Crawford Court and remanded to Orange County Jail pending a future court appearance.

During the nearly year-long investigation, state police followed hundreds of potential leads, interviewed more than 250 persons, secured and forensically examined evidence, and executed search warrants in both New York and New Jersey. Investigators also traveled to several states as the investigation dictated.

Speights, a Town of Wallkill resident, was a tight end/defensive end for Pine Bush HS who graduated in 2014.

The State Police were assisted by Town of Crawford Police Department, State University Police at Delhi, Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Village of Spring Valley Police Department, the Town of Ramapo Police Department, the Westwood (NJ) Police Department, the Broward County (FL) Sheriff's Office, and the Silver Lake, Pine Bush, Bullville, and Circleville Fire Departments.

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