A Kingston man, his 17-year-old son and a second teen have been indicted on murder and robbery charges stemming from a Dec. 1, 2018 incident that left 38-year-old Mark Lancaster dead of a gunshot wound. Meanwhile, sources say, one of the accused teens has made bail and is currently attending Kingston High School.
On Jan. 15, an Ulster County grand jury handed up an indictment charging Maurice Stansbury, 38, Maurice Stansbury Jr., 17, and Kevin Gardener, 17, with second-degree murder, robbery and weapons charges. All three men are charged under New York’s “felony murder” statute which allows defendants to be charged with murder if they are found to have participated in a crime during which someone is killed. The statute applies even if the defendant is not accused of directly causing the victim’s death.
In the case of the Stansburys and Gardener, the underlying felony was an armed robbery at the Sawkill Trailer Park. Cops believe the robbery occurred in the course of a marijuana deal with three victims, including Lancaster. Police believe the deal involved two ounces of marijuana, according to previous court testimony. Following the robbery, police believe, the Stansburys and Gardener left the trailer park in a vehicle with Lancaster, his teenage son and a third unidentified person in pursuit in a second vehicle. The chase ended near 341 Sawkill Road. There, police believe, there was a confrontation and one of the alleged robbers opened fire with a handgun, striking Lancaster in the torso. He was later pronounced dead at HealthAlliance Hospital’s Broadway Campus. Stansbury Jr.’s lawyer, Joseph O’Connor, said a camera on a vehicle parked near the scene captured portions of the confrontation, including a shot apparently fired by someone in his client’s vehicle. One of the teens was arrested at the scene of the shooting; the second and Stansbury Sr. were arrested in Kingston later that day.
Stansbury Sr. and Gardener remain in Ulster County Jail. Stansbury Jr. is free on $300,000 bail. According to sources familiar with the case, Stansbury Jr. is back at Kingston High School where he previously played for the Kingston Tigers football team. In a prepared statement issued Wednesday, Kingston City School District Superintendent Paul Padalino declined to discuss specifics of the case, but wrote, “We are aware of the situation and have taken appropriate measures to keep our students safe.”