Three charged with murder in Sawkill Rd. shooting

Maurice Stansberry Sr., Maurice Stansberry Jr. and Kevin Gardener.

A Kingston father and son and a second teen are facing second-degree murder charges after, police say, a confrontation Saturday on Sawkill Road in the Town of Ulster left a man dead of a gunshot wound.

State police say the incident occurred just before noon on Saturday, Dec. 1 near 341 Sawkill Road when Maurice Stansberry, 38, of Kingston, his son Maurice Stansberry Jr., 17, and Kevin Gardener, 17, also of Kingston, got into an altercation with Mark Lancaster, 39, of Kingston. Both parties were in vehicles parked near the scene.

Police believe the elder Stansberry shot Lancaster, causing a fatal through-and-through gunshot wound to the torso. Lancaster was transported to HealthAlliance Hospital Broadway Campus where he was pronounced dead.

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Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright said Monday there was a third teen at the scene, who he described as a witness to the shooting. On social media, a number of people claiming to be family and friends of Lancaster indicated that he was shot in front of his own 17-year-old son, a fact corroborated by one source close to the investigation.

The shooting triggered a massive police response which shut down traffic on Sawkill Road between Washington Avenue and Route 209. Heavily armed officers staged in a parking lot on Hurley Avenue to search the nearby Stony Run apartment complex. By Friday night, all three suspects were in custody.

Maurice Stansberry Sr. is charged with second-degree murder and felony second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Stansberry Jr. and Gardener were also charged with second degree murder accused of “acting in concert” with the shooter to cause Lancaster’s death. All three suspects were arraigned in Town of Ulster Court and sent to the Ulster County Jail with no bail.

Carnright said police believe they have a motive for the crime, but he declined to discuss it pending the presentation of the case to a grand jury. “These parties were known to each other,” said Carnright. “This was not a random act.”

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