Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Thursday, November 30, 2023, Timothy Lempicki, age 36, of Washingtonville, was arraigned in Orange County Court on an indictment charging him with the crimes of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Criminally Negligent Homicide and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.
Those charges were filed in connection with the death of a man who was found dead in the Town of New Windsor, on July 17, 2022. An autopsy revealed that the man had died due to a fatal overdose of the powerful narcotic fentanyl. The indictment alleges that on July 16, 2022, in the Village of Washingtonville, Lempicki sold the fentanyl to the deceased man. The indictment alleges that at the time Lempicki sold the drug, he knew, and consciously disregarded, a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the drug might have a lethal effect on the person he sold it to.
An investigation into the circumstances under which the man died was conducted by the Village of Washingtonville Police Department and the Town of New Windsor Police Department, who were aided by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Medical Examiner. The matter was investigated and presented to an Orange County Grand Jury. The Orange County Court issued a warrant for Lempicki’s arrest based on the findings of the Grand Jury.
On November 30, Lempicki was arrested by police officers of the Village of Washingtonville Police Department and brought before Orange County Court Judge Hyun Chin Kim. Lempicki was remanded to the Orange County Jail in lieu of bail which had been ordered in the amount of $50,000 cash, or $100,000 secured bond, or $250,000 unsecured bond. Lempicki is next scheduled to appear in County Court on December 14, 2023.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Village of Washingtonville Police Department and the Town of New Windsor Police Department for their investigation into the fatal overdose, and the Village of Washingtonville Police Department for their arrest of Lempicki.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office follows the same protocols when assisting its law enforcement partners who are investigating fatal overdoses as they do in homicide cases. This includes drafting search warrants and other documents to ensure that the locations where the narcotics were sold and ingested, as well as locations where people succumbed to overdoses, can be processed as crime scenes and that all available potential evidence is preserved. In some situations, New York State law does not permit the filing of homicide charges against those who sold the narcotics which have resulted in death. In those cases where homicide charges can be filed, the charge is frequently the class C felony of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, or the E felony of Criminally Negligent Homicide, which are lower classes of felonies than the class B felony of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. Some states, including New Jersey, have laws which enact a strict liability standard, and impose enhanced punishment on those who sell narcotics to someone who dies as a result. New York Law imposes no such strict liability standard on those who sell drugs which result in fatal overdoses.
“The indictment in this case is part of my office’s ongoing efforts to hold drug dealers accountable for the death and damage that they cause,” said Hoovler. “The lethal nature of fentanyl has been well documented and well publicized. In those cases where we can prove that drug traffickers consciously disregarded the risk that their actions would result in the deaths that resulted from their drug dealing, we will continue to bring appropriate homicide charges. However, New York State laws are in some respects inadequate to address the harm and death that drug traffickers all too often cause when they sell these lethal substances. The Legislature in New York State would do well to examine statutes enacted in other jurisdictions to address the issue of those who kill by dealing narcotics. That would be a substantial step in protecting New Yorkers who might fall victim to these substances.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Mangold.