Friday, September 27, 2013

Father of 4-Year-old Toms River Boy Who Shot and Killed his 6-Year-old Friend is Indicted

Brandon Holt, 6, pictured here, was shot and killed in April when his 4-year-old neighbor allegedly picked up a rifle belonging to his father, Anthony Senatore, 33, of Toms River. Senatore was indicted Wednesday on six counts of child endangerment. (Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger)

nj dot com further to our earlier report

The father of a 4-year-old Toms River boy who allegedly shot and killed his 6-year-old friend while the two were playing earlier this year was indicted today on six counts of child endangerment, prosecutors said.

An Ocean County grand jury returned the indictment against Anthony Senatore, 33, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said in a statement.

On April 8, Brandon Holt was playing "pretend shooting" with Senatore’s 4-year-old son, neighbors and prosecutors have said.

Senatore’s little boy ran into his parents’ bedroom and emerged moments later with a .22-caliber rifle. He went outside where Brandon was sitting in a golf cart.

The rifle, authorities said, fired. Brandon was shot in the head.

The boy’s father was arrested the following month, charged with endangering the welfare of a minor. The indictment brought no new charges. Senatore faces five counts of second-degree child endangerment, one count of third-degree child endangerment and a disorderly persons offense.

The charges allege that in addition to the loaded .22 caliber rifle used to fire the fatal shot, a Stevens 12-gauge shotgun, two Harrington & Richardson shotguns and a Remington 12-gauge shotgun were all found unsecured, in close proximity to ammunition and accessible to Senatore’s children, ages 12, 8 and 4.

Under New Jersey law, residents do not need to register rifles but do need a gun purchaser’s identification card to buy them.

Anyone who knows that a child younger than 16 could gain access to a loaded firearm in the home can be charged with a disorderly persons offense if they fail to secure the weapon or install a trigger lock.

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