In Orange County Court on Tuesday, a Montgomery man who had been convicted by a jury in an arson murder case was given his sentence. The maximum penalty Ryan Veloce, 32, of Montgomery, can receive is 25 years to life in state prison. He had previously been found guilty by a jury of offenses like first-degree arson and second-degree murder. The victim had saved Veloce’s life the previous night by using Narcan to reverse the symptoms of a heroin overdose, the sentencing judge noted to Veloce at the court hearing.
The judge added that more people would have perished if the victim’s brave acts in informing other home residents that there was a fire had not occurred. The convictions, according to the district attorney’s office, were related to a fire that broke out in a single-family home on Barron Road in the town of Montgomery on the morning of June 10, 2021. Firefighters had to enter the house to free the resident, a 46-year-old male, who was trapped inside.
The man later passed away that morning from smoke inhalation at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. Prosecutors claimed during the trial that Veloce, who had spent the night at the house, had purposefully started the fire with kerosene because he thought the deceased guy, who was sleeping at the time, had taken his cocaine the night before. The Town of Montgomery Police Department and firefighters responded to the burning house on Barron Road at 7 a.m. on June 10, 2021.
Veloce, who at first denied being in the residence, was later seen leaving the scene of the fire. Arson investigators were helped in identifying the fire’s place of origin by a trained canine arson detection team from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The fire was ignited in the bedroom that Veloce was occupying, according to later lab tests conducted by the New York State Police, which also proved that a liquid accelerant—likely kerosene—was used to start it.
According to District Attorney David Hoovler, Veloce deserved to get the highest punishment permitted by the law for his crimes. He claimed that “the defendant, in this case, lit the devastating fire under cover of night, without eyewitnesses present.” This criminal “would not have been held accountable for his crimes but for the diligent and skilled investigation by the law enforcement agencies, together with the hard and steady work of the prosecutors who handled the case.”