A Hudson Valley man who was found guilty of murder in the beating death of an elderly military veteran and local shop owner was sentenced.

In Orange County Court, 30-year-old Dennis McBee, of Port Jervis was sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed by law, 25 years to life in prison for murder and one to four years for tampering with physical evidence.

“Unfortunately, that sentence cannot nearly make up for the loss of Mr. Kucher to the Port Jervis community,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler in a statement. “To work hard your entire life and be an upstanding member of your community, only to have your life ended by a vicious individual intent on stealing your money, well, that demands justice, and we have seen justice done as far as we can.”

On November 7, 2014, McBee robbed, beat, and killed 77-year-old Port Jervis shop owner, Josef Kucher. Kucher was a shoemaker in Port Jervis for 40 years. He owned Kucher’s Shoe Repair and Orthopedic on Front Street, where the robbery and beating took place.

According to prosecutors, after savagely beating the elderly man and stealing money from the cash register, McBee tried to conceal his bloody pants and boots.
Following the murder, McBee fled to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he was ultimately found and arrested.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office says Kucher was an Austrian immigrant, military veteran, and a prominent figure in the Port Jervis community. “Mr. Kutcher was known to all in Port Jervis,” said Hoovler. “He was an old world craftsman who did things the right way, for the right reasons, every day of his life.