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2 men charged in boy's death

10 Feb 2006

By Oliver Mackson
Times Herald-Record
omackson@th-record.com

Goshen - As his mother listened, a 13-year-old boy told state police how his twin brother was shot in the back by his grandpa on Thanksgiving Day.

Michael Kingston Jr. talked about how his grandpa, Wayne Kingston, 59, and Michael's cousin, Jake Kingston, 38, went off to recover two illegally hunted does before they lifted a finger to help the bleeding boy.

By the time they called for help, it was too late. David Kingston was dead from a rifle shot. Yesterday, his grandfather and his cousin were charged with second-degree manslaughter.

They were sent to Orange County Jail last night, pending arraignment today in County Court. Michael Kingston Jr. testified against the two men to a grand jury, according to his mother, Tonia Ellis Albritton of Port Jervis.

Michael and his twin brother were deer-hunting with their relatives in some woods off Route 42 in Sparrowbush on the day of the shooting.

After his brother was hit by the bullet from his grandfather's rifle, "Mikey thought they were going into the woods to get David. Instead, they got the deer first," Albritton said during an interview this week.

Her son told state police said that the adults eventually loaded David into their Jeep, but stopped at the home of Jake Kingston's father before they called 911.

At about noon that day, Albritton said the Kingstons met her at home and gave her the news about her son. But at first, she said, they told her that he fell and hit his head.

When she accompanied them to Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, she found her son lying in a pool of blood, and when hospital staff rolled him over, she pointed out that the source of the blood was a wound in his upper left back.

Hospital staffers gave state police the same account, although they said a doctor found the bullet wound in the boy's back.

As state police, conservation police and Deerpark police gathered evidence in the aftermath of the shooting, prosecutors opted to present the case to a grand jury instead of having police immediately bring charges.

At the time, the twins were legally in the custody of their grandparents, Wayne and Kathleen Kingston. But last month, after Michael Jr.'s law guardian mentioned Wayne Kingston's impending indictment in Family Court, a judge allowed Michael to leave his grandparents' home and move in temporarily with his father.

Albritton hopes to regain custody of her surviving son. Meanwhile, she and her family are trying to figure out how her son could have been shot by his own grandfather, and why neither adult immediately tried to get help.

"They said he fell and hit his head. They said he fell, those sons of bitches," sobbed the twins' maternal grandfather, David Ellis of Cuddebackville. "They weren't even worried about him. They were worried about their stupid deer and covering their asses so they didn't get in trouble."

 

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