A Hudson Valley man killed his best friend. His best friend was in the region helping his mother who lost a loved one.

Ulster County Man Found Guilty For Killing Best Friend From Dutchess County

"A bench trial requires the sitting judge to act as the trier of fact in addition to presiding over the trial. This conviction means that Thayer committed murder in the second degree as charged by an Ulster County Grand Jury in 2021, but suffered Extreme Emotional Disturbance at the time which, under the law, permits conviction only of Manslaughter in the First Degree," the Ulster County DA's office states.

Thayer was also convicted for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a class C-violent felony.

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On Thursday, 50-year-old Gregory Thayer of the Town of Ulster, was found guilty of manslaughter in the first degree in a non-jury trial before Judge Bryan Rounds in Ulster County Court for the killing of Bruce Swierc, of California and Rhinebeck.

 

What Happened In the Town Of Ulster, New York

He came to visit his mother in Rhinebeck, to help console her because she lost her partner a few months after losing her sister, officials say.

Swierc and Thayer were "childhood best friends," according to the Ulster County DA's office.

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Thayer faces up to 25 years at his sentencing in July but his attorney plans to appeal.

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