Sentencing postponed for Middletown man who admitted to fatally stabbing homeowner
The sentencing for a Middletown man who admitted to fatally stabbing a homeowner in a mysterious backyard slaying last year has been postponed.
Orange County prosecutors say no new sentencing date will be set at this time in the case against 23-year-old Damante Stansberry.
Stansberry pleaded guilty in March to killing 52-year-old Jeffrey Harris in October of 2022 while the victim worked on his fence on Brookline Avenue in the Town of Wallkill.
Authorities have yet to reveal what Stansberry’s relationship was to Harris or a motive for the crime.
People close to the victim tell News 12 that Harris was fearful of a neighbor who he had a history of problems with, requiring frequent police involvement and restraining orders.
Authorities, however, have not named anyone else as a suspect or person of interest in the crime, and no one other than Stansberry has been charged.
Prosecutors say the victim was found stabbed multiple times and that Stansberry attempted to cover up the crime by stuffing rubber gloves, a hooded jacket, and a shoe he was wearing into a nearby storm drain.
Wallkill police, state police, and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force investigated the incident.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the delayed sentencing and said no additional information is available.
District Attorney David Hoovler is prosecuting the case.
Stansberry pleaded guilty to the murder and faces a potential sentence of 15 years to life.