Sentencing postponed for admitted killer in mysterious murder case

The 23-year-old from Middletown was supposed to be sentenced on Friday to 15 years to life under a plea deal in Orange County Court, but it was adjourned for additional documents that prosecutors would only describe as “important for sentencing.” 

Blaise Gomez

Jun 16, 2023, 9:25 PM

Updated 336 days ago

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The sentencing of an admitted murderer who said he killed an Orange County man last year was postponed Friday, while many of the details surrounding the case remain a mystery. 
Damante Stansberry pleaded guilty in March to fatally stabbing 52-year-old Jeffrey Harris last October. 
The 23-year-old from Middletown was supposed to be sentenced on Friday to 15 years to life under a plea deal in Orange County Court. However, it was adjourned for additional documents that prosecutors would only describe as “important for sentencing.” 
Harris was killed in the middle of the day at his house on Brookline Avenue in Wallkill. 
Authorities say Harris was stabbed multiple times while fixing his fence in his backyard. Much else about the case seems to be a mystery, including what the motive was and how Stansberry knew the victim. 
Neighbors who knew Harris for years and remember when he was killed spoke to News 12.
“It was unfortunate what happened to him because it was out of the blue, in the daylight, not even nighttime – just out of the blue," said Crystal Shippy.
Prosecutors previously said that Stansberry stuffed a mask, rubber gloves, hooded jacket and a shoe he wore during the crime down a storm drain. 
People who knew Harris said he was fearful of a neighbor who he had a long history of problems with requiring police involvement and restraining orders. 
Authorities have confirmed that information but no one else has been charged in connection to the crime, and for now – there seems to be more questions than answers. 
Damante Stansberry is now scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 20.  
The victim’s house is currently up for sale. 


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