Newburgh defendant sentenced in cocaine-fueled crash that killed surgeon
Ezzial Williams apologized to a packed courtroom of her victim’s loved ones and former patients Tuesday before she was sentenced for killing Dr. John Hordines Jr. in a fatal crash.
Prosecutors say the 38-year-old, who identifies with the pronoun she, had traces of cocaine in her system and was speeding when she hit the surgeon’s truck head on in 2021 on Route 32 in Cornwall
Hordines’ widow and oldest son spoke in court about their loss and his legacy as a family man and physician who saved lives and always but others first. The surgeon’s son said that their “lives are hollow because of his absence,” and that they are “tortured by his loss” because of Williams’ “reckless and selfish actions.”
Williams was originally charged with manslaughter but that was reduced to vehicular manslaughter under a plea deal, and she was sentenced to 3 ½ to seven years in prison.
District Attorney Dave Hoovler said Williams was sentenced to the maximum allowed by law and that the defendant may have been found not guilty if the case went to trial.
“The toxicologist couldn’t say that the person was under the influence of the drug at the time of the incident," said Hoovler.
Hoovler says a witness was ready to testify that Williams used cocaine the day of the crash, but that a jury may have found them not to be credible since the person is currently behind bars.
“To chance the person walking out of the courtroom, that can’t happen," says Hoovler.
Prosecutors say Williams had 40 prior convictions for crimes like theft, shoplifting and prostitution.
She was also sentenced Tuesday for an unrelated attempted burglary charge that will run at the same time as her sentence for causing the deadly crash.
Hordines Jr. worked for Crystal Run Healthcare and just turned 54 years old.
His family said in court that they had plans to celebrate his birthday the day he was killed.