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Rockland Psychiatric Patient Pleads Guilty in Slaying of Fellow Patient

Former Newburgh resident hit another patient with a metal pole during a fight at RPC.

A former Newburgh man who was beaing treated at Rockland Psychiatric Center has pleaded guilty to killing a fellow patient in a January 2012 fight at the facility's Orangeburg campus.

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said the prosecution is seeking a sentence of 23 years in prison for Curtis Wilson, 53, as a result of his guilty plea on the charge of first-degree manslaughter. Wilson was arrested after a Jan. 16, 2012, fight with fellow patient Vincent Knadler, who was hit repeatedly in the head with a two-foot-long metal pole.

Knadler was prounced dead at Nyack Hospital less than an hour after the fight at Rockland Psychiatric.

Wilson was in inpatient residential treatment at several New York psychiatric hospitals on a least 15 separate occasions over a 25-year period. At the time of the Rockland Psychiatric incident, he was in his 16th inpatient hospitalization.

Zugibe said that with Wilson's guilty plea he waived any psychiatric defense. Wilson continues to be held in the Rockland County Correctional Facility in New City and is scheduled to be sentenced in Rockland County Court in New City by Judge William A. Kelly on March 27.

Executive Assistant District Attorney James Mellion, Supervising Assistant District Attorney Dominic Crispino and Senior Assistant District Attorney Janine Kovacs prosecuted the case. 

Rockland Psychiatric Center is a 600-acre facility that "provides treatment, rehabilitation, and support to adults 18 and older with severe and complex mental illness," its website reads.

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