Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2006

Cousin kicked boy as he lay shot, dying

By Oliver Mackson
Times Herald-Record
[email protected]

Goshen - As 13-year-old David Kingston cried out for help, bleeding from a rifle wound in his back, his 38-year-old cousin kicked him and threatened to duct-tape his mouth if he didn't shut up.

A prosecutor yesterday told that story to an Orange County Court judge as Jake Kingston Jr. of Port Jervis and Wayne Kingston Sr. of Huguenot were arraigned on felony charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide and misdemeanor charges of taking deer without antlers. They're accused of retrieving two illegally hunted does before they got help for David, who was pronounced dead at a Port Jervis hospital more than two hours after the Thanksgiving Day shooting.

"The deer got better treatment than their family member," Assistant District Attorney David Hoovler said at yesterday's arraignment.

Wayne Kingston Sr. was David's grandfather; Jake Kingston Jr. was his cousin. Michael Kingston Jr., who was David's twin brother, was the fourth member of a hunting party that entered the woods in Sparrowbush, near the Sullivan County line, on Nov. 24, 2005, Thanksgiving morning.

Sometime between 10 and 10:30 a.m., Wayne Kingston fired a shot from his .243 Winchester rifle, and it hit David in the back. At first, Wayne Kingston denied hitting his grandson, telling Department of Environmental Conservation police Investigator Bernard Rivers, "I shot my gun - firearm - at a deer, and it startled my grandson, who fell and hit his head."

Later, Wayne Kingston changed his story. On a state hunting accident report, he wrote that as he and the twins were walking in the woods when "I saw a deer jump up and I took a shot at the deer. Right after the shot I heard someone screaming for help, I took off towards the yelling and found my grandson near Wood Road. My grandson said that he was shot."

The hunting reports and the statements are all contained in court records that are part of the case.

David's twin brother told police and a grand jury that the Kingstons went into the woods to retrieve the does that Jake shot before they put David into their truck and took him to the home of Jake Kingston's father, where they called 911.

The surviving twin, in a statement witnessed by his mother, told police that he heard David say, "I think I'm dying," and that he couldn't feel his legs before the adult Kingstons brought him out of the woods.

According to police and court records, it took between an hour and 20 minutes and an hour and 40 minutes for David to get medical treatment after he was shot. He was pronounced dead at Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis at 12:44 p.m., according to a death certificate.

Yesterday, Judge Stewart Rosenwasser set $50,000 cash bail and $500,000 bond for both of the Kingstons. They were being held in Orange County Jail pending court appearances later this month.

Lawyers for the two men said they don't have enough money to make bail. Wayne Kingston filed for bankruptcy about a month before the hunting accident, according to court records.

His son, Wayne Jr., said his family didn't want to talk yesterday.

Jake Kingston started to argue in court yesterday, after Hoovler told the judge about his kicking and threatening to duct-tape the dying boy's mouth.

"I didn't kick him," Jake Kingston told the judge.

In a statement to police, he said he told David that "he had to stop yelling and screaming because he was gonna have all the hunters over there. I told him that I would have to duct (tape) his mouth shut."

Jake also had a question for state police that day. According to a statement filed by investigators, he "wanted to know if he was going to lose his hunting permit after all this is over."


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